Monday, July 25, 2011


Suresh Kalmadi
Suresh Kalmadi, lodged in Tihar jail for more than two months in connection with the multi-crore Commonwealth Gamesscam, may be suffering from dementia, a disease related to memory loss, impaired reasoning and personality changes. If conclusively diagnosed, the condition may have a bearing on his ongoing CWG trial.

The 66-year-old MP from Pune was recently taken to Lok Narayan Jai Prakash Hospital where an MRI scan was conducted on him. Deputy inspector general of Tihar R N Sharma said dementia at a preliminary stage was mentioned in the medical history submitted to jail authorities by the family members.

The MP was ailing much before he was arrested and brought to jail on allegations of being involved in large scale corruption in the conduct of the Commonwealth Games, he said. "We are still awaiting for a formal copy of the test conducted at the LNJP."

Legal experts feel the impact of his health condition on the trial would be determined only after it was analysed by medical experts. Kalmadi's lawyer Hitesh Jain said his client had been suffering from this problem for the past four to five years and this had been communicated to the jail and investigating authorities.

"If it (dementia) had settled at the time of offence, it may have a bearing on his culpability," noted lawyer K T S Tulsi said. "As per the law, a demented person suffers from a global memory loss. If there is a memory loss at the time of the commissioning of the offence, it is not possible to have a fraudulent intention," Tulsi contended.

Asked whether this could be used as an alibi by the accused to skirt the trial in the CWG scam, Tulsi said, "its a general trend that people take such recourse. What needs to be established is when the disease has affected him. Only after that one can decide whether it will have bearing on the case or not." The DIG said the advice was for an entire health check-up and not specific to mental illness.

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