In what could be termed as a massive setback for Kafeel Khan, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday said it is yet to give a clean chit to the suspended doctor in any criminal negligence in children's deaths at the BRD Medical College of Gorakhpur.
While speaking to the media, UP Principal Secretary Medical Education, Rajnish Dube said, "Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan hasn't been given clean chit by the government. A probe is still underway against him in seven charges."
Last week, two years after 70 infants died at the BRD Medical College, reports suggested that a UP government inquiry has given a clean chit to Khan in the case. Dr Khan was suspended following the death of children in the hospital in August 2017.
Investigating Officer of the case, Principal Secretary, Stamp and Registration, Himanshu Kumar, had said Dr Khan was given a clean chit in the case.
The infants had died allegedly because of disruption in oxygen supply due to pending payments to the supplier, a charge stoutly refuted by the state government.
The government has maintained that the children died due to different illnesses, including Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and there was no shortage of oxygen.
Dr Khan said: "Principal, BRD Medical College, Ganesh Kumar gave me the UP government letter. It clearly describes that I am free from charges of medical negligence, corruption and not performing duty on that fateful day when around 70 children lost their lives at BRD Medical College Hospital".
"My bail order of Allahabad Court of April 25, 2018, confirmed that I was not part of the tendering process of oxygen supply and also there is no material on record which proves my medical negligence," he said.
Kumar said: "It is a procedure that government letters and orders are handed over in person under which the letter was given to Dr Kafeel Khan on Thursday".
As per the investigation report, Dr Khan was neither the nodal medical officer in charge of encephalitis wards at BRD nor documents contesting the same provided by the department were adequate and consistent.
The report also states that Dr Khan was not involved in the process of allotting tenders for oxygen supply amounting to corruption, or of medical negligence on his part on the day of the tragedy.
The report also says that Dr Khan informed seniors about shortage of oxygen supply and arranged seven oxygen cylinders on the night of August 10-11, 2017.