Nashwa case: Two doctors escape from Karachi court after cancellation of interim bail

Updated 03 May 2019

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The nine-month-old girl suffering from diarrhoea was allegedly given impro­­per treatment at the Darul Sehat Hospital on April 7 that paralysed her and led to her death. — Photo courtesy DawnNewsTV
The nine-month-old girl suffering from diarrhoea was allegedly given impro­­per treatment at the Darul Sehat Hospital on April 7 that paralysed her and led to her death. — Photo courtesy DawnNewsTV

Two doctors allegedly involved in a case pertaining to the death of nine-month-old Nashwa managed to flee from a court in Karachi on Friday — a day after police filed an interim charge sheet and incorporated the offence of murder in the report.

Chief medical head Dr Sharjeel Husain and night duty doctor Atiya Ahmed ran away in the presence of policemen today after the interim pre-arrest bail granted to them last week was cancelled.

They had obtained interim bail against a surety bond of Rs300,000 each on April 25 to avoid their arrest in the case.

The additional district and sessions judge observed that the postmortem report of the toddler supported the allegations of medical negligence levelled by the complainant. He said that now that the nature of the offence had changed after Nashwa’s death, granting pre-arrest bail may affect the merits of the investigation of the case.

Meanwhile, in another development in the case, the Sindh High Court today issued orders for the reopening of the sealed sections of Darul Sehat Hospital after the hospital management approached the court seeking a reversal of the decision. Justice Junaid Ghaffar also issued a notice to both the plaintiff and the defendant to submit their responses to the Court.

The nine-month-old girl suffering from diarrhoea was allegedly given improper treatment at the Darul Sehat Hospital on April 7 that left her paralysed and eventually led to her death. Subsequently, parts of the hospital had been sealed and several staffers were arrested after a case was filed.

Read: Nashwa’s death is tragic. What can be done to prevent such incidents?

On Thursday, the investigation officer had filed an interim charge sheet against the owner, administration and medical staff of the private hospital and incorporated the offence of murder in the report.

The interim charge sheet was filed under Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before a judicial magistrate (East) and requested that a 15-day period be allowed to file a final charge sheet.

In the interim charge sheet, IO Sub-Inspector Mohammad Saleem Khan nominated 13 detained and absconding members of the hospital’s administration and medical staff.

Those detained in prison on judicial remand included nursing in-charge Atif Javed, nursing assistant Agha Moiz, female staffer Sobia Irshad, deputy administration officer Ahmer Shahzad, while chief medical head Dr Sharjeel Husain and night duty doctor Atiya Ahmed were shown to be on bail.

The IO had shown chairman of the Darul Sehat Hospital Amir Chishti, vice-chairman Syed Ali Farhan, director (HR) Irfan Aslam, executive director Dr Shehzad Alam, nursing head Dr Rizwan Azmi and Syed Shabbar Hussain Zaidi as absconders in the interim charge sheet.

In the charge sheet, the IO had mentioned that he inspected the private health facility, collected evidence, including the CCTV footage showing staffer Sobia Irshad preparing the injection and later nursing assistant Agha Moiz injecting the same to the girl.

The IO said statements of complainant and suspects had been recorded and listed 25 persons as witnesses. The judge gave the IO until May 5 to submit the final charge sheet.