'Dec 16 rape victim shifted to Singapore for best treatment'



New Delhi: A doctor of a government hospital here on Tuesday told a special court that the decision to shift the December 16 gang-rape victim to a Singapore hospital was taken as it has the best treatment for "critical care" and the facility for organ transplantation was also available there.

The Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital deposed in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna that Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore was ready to accept and give treatment to the 23-year-old victim in such a condition.

"The treating doctors had contacted the doctors at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore and they were ready to accept the patient in such a condition.

"Since the Mount Elizabeth Hospital has the best facility for best critical care and also for organ transplant, if required, so the decision was taken to transfer the patient," the doctor told the court.

He added organ transplant facility is not available at Safdarjung Hospital till date and he has no knowledge if such treatment is available in Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.

Earlier, the counsel for the accused had claimed the victim died in the hospital in Delhi itself and she was shifted to Singapore just to mislead the people who were protesting since December 16 incident.

The doctor, during the cross-examination by advocate Vivek Sharma for accused Pawan Gupta, told the court that they were providing the best treatment to the victim as the government was also concerned about her health and even Lok Sabha Secretary had written a letter to given her the best possible medicines.

"There was no time for us to take formal permission from the Health Ministry to shift the patient abroad. I had not engaged myself to provide the other support, like visa, passport and financial help to the victim to be taken abroad.

"However, since the government was very much concerned about the medical management of the victim to provide her with the best medical care, so the decision of the team of the doctors to shift her abroad was to be implemented at all cost," he said.

The doctor also deposed the decision to shift the victim was taken by A team of doctors involved in providing her the best medical facility. He also said the victim was having various injuries on her face when she was admitted to the hospital.

However, the doctor told the court that he had not met the victim's male friend who was also allegedly assaulted by the six accused persons on the moving bus. "I had not met the complainant. As per my knowledge, he was not admitted in any ward of the hospital," he said.

During the proceedings, the court noticed a drama when advocate VK Anand approached him with a 'vakaltnama' on behalf of accused Mukesh who has changed his counsel for the third time since the trial started in the case.

The court, however, accepted his request and allowed him to proceed in the case. But the moment Anand submitted before a court that he is ready to conduct the trial from morning till evening, the counsel for the other three accused opposed it saying it is not possible as they have other cases also to handle.

The judge, however, said since advocate Anand is back, "we should conduct the proceedings in a speedy manner".

"We will have to give no time to this case. Already in one month nothing has been done," the court said.

The court is at present conducting proceedings against four of the accused in the case in which it has recorded the statements of 65 prosecution witnesses.

With the proceedings against the main accused Ram Singh having been abated after his death on March 11, the remaining four adult accused Mukesh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Singh and Pawan Gupta are facing trial in the case for rape and murder of the girl.

The sixth is a juvenile and is facing proceedings before the Juvenile Justice Board.

PTI