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Demonetization of currency: Newborn died after hospital refused to accept deposit in 500 notes

Mumbai: A doctor attached to a nursing home in suburban Govandi allegedly refused to treat a premature baby as the parents could not pay the necessary deposit in the wake of demonetisation, following which a case was registered against her.

Jagadish Sharma, father of the newborn, had filed a case in this regard with Shivajinagar police station in the city.

On November 8, Sharma’s wife Kiran, who was pregnant, was admitted to the nursing home for tests, including sonography. She was expected to deliver a baby around December 7.

On November 9, Kiran went into labour prematurely and gave birth to a boy at home before she could be taken to hospital. Afterwards the mother and the boy were rushed to the nursing home.

The woman doctor administered preliminary treatment but allegedly refused to treat the baby further unless Sharma, a carpenter by profession, paid a deposit of Rs 6,000 in notes of less than Rs 500 denomination, police said.

Sharma alleged that he requested for some time for getting the Rs 500 notes changed into lower-value currency but the doctor refused and turned them away.

The mother and the baby were taken to another hospital where the infant’s condition worsened and he died before getting treatment, as per the complaint.

“Today we registered a case against the doctor for causing death by negligence (IPC section 304A) and disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant (IPC section 188),” said Shahaji Umap, Deputy Commissioner of Police, zone VI.

There were clear instructions from the state government to hospitals that they must continue to accept Rs 1,000 and 500 notes and a circular to this effect had been issued, the DCP said.

“In our investigation we found that the baby died due to refusal by the doctor to treat him,” the officer said.

No arrest has been made so far.