Swarna Palace Fire: AP HC Grants Custodial Questioning Of Dr Ramesh Babu

 - Sakshi Post

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday allowed the custodial interrogation of Dr. Pothineni Ramesh Babu, MD of the Ramesh Cardiac multi-speciality Hospital in the Vijayawada Swarna Palace fire accident case. The High Court directed Ramesh Babu to appear before the Additional Deputy Commissioner, who is the investigating officer. He will be taken into custody from November 3 to December 2nd. During those three days, Ramesh Babu be interrogated at the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, the interrogation will be conducted under the supervision of Ramesh Babu's lawyer. It is also directed that police shouldn't use third degree methods and all the COVID-19 rules should be followed.

The order was issued two days ago by Justice Chikati Manavendranath Roy.  A total of 10 people were killed in a fire that broke out in Swarna Palace, a COVID centre run by Ramesh Hospitals in August this year.  The Governor's Peta police registered a case against the management of Ramesh Hospital. Later, Ramesh Hospital MD Dr. Pothineni Ramesh Babu filed a petition seeking to quash the case against him. The state government challenged this order in the apex court and the Supreme Court, however, said that Ramesh shouldn't be taken into custody for interrogation on his cooperation with the police.

The police moved the High Court stating that Ramesh didn't submit the documents and didn't attend for questioning when issued notice under Section 160 CrPC.  Ramesh Babu's counsel argued that they have submitted all the documents and requested to attend for interrogation through video conference in the view of COVID-19.  Hearing the arguments of both sides, Justice Ch Manavendra Roy said that Ramesh Babu will co-operate with the police and will attend for interrogation.  The judge issued orders allowing Ramesh Babu to be interrogated for three days.

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