However, the court has not yet imposed any punishment on them and has granted them one more opportunity to present their view on the issue.
Hospitals and doctors who give shelter to criminals to escape from arrests will now have to think twice as they can also be held guilty of contempt of court.
The Supreme Court, in Sita Ram vs. Balbir, has held two medical professionals guilty of contempt for granting medical asylum to an accused, without there being any reason or medical condition justifying his prolonged admission as an indoor patient.
It was revealed in the inquiry that the accused remained admitted in the hospital for 527 days and no laboratory test was conducted during the period of admission.
“It is inconceivable that in normal circumstances, a man, who has no ailment or a medical condition requiring emergency treatment, would be kept as indoor patient without any laboratory test and without recovering a single paisa for more than 247 days,” the bench headed by the Chief Justice of India observed.
The court also considered the question whether a person, who is not bound by a direction issued by the court, could be held guilty for committing contempt of court for his conduct in either directly aiding and abetting violation on part of the person who is bound by such direction. Referring to three English decisions, Seaward v. Paterson, Attorney General v. Times Newspapers Ltd. and another, and Z Ltd. v, the court held that the doctors were guilty for having helped the accused in his attempts to violate the court order and, thereby, obstructing the administration of justice.
“We have found that the continued admission for such a long period as indoor patient was not justifiable for any reason or medical condition of the respondent. Both these medical professionals are responsible for such prolonged admission, which was actuated by only one reason -which was to extend medical asylum to the respondent as a cover to defeat the orders passed by this court and the trial court,” the court said while directing the doctors to be present in the court on 2nd January.
Red the Judgment here.