Mumbai: The Agripada Police has filed a charge sheet against a paediatrician, Dr Snehal Nyati, who was identified as the key players in the organized scam of allegedly helping doctors procure fake certificates of PG diplomas and fellowships offered by the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS).
The charge sheet against Dr Nyati, who was arrested in November last year, was filed on January 9, the police officials confirmed to Mirror.
Medical Dialogues had extensively reported about the scam since months. The Maharashtra Medical Council stumbled upon the scam over two years ago, while scrutinizing documents of a candidate, who had submitted a fake certificate for registration. This prompted the medical council to launch a statewide probe into the matter.
Most fake degrees were of sought-after courses such as diploma in gynaecology and obstetrics, diplomas in ophthalmic medicine, general surgery and cardiology, fellowships in surgery, medicine.
The MMC investigations revealed that around 77 doctors had failed the College of Physicians and Surgeons examinations, but managed to procure passing certificates and had been practising based on those specialists’ degrees since.
The state medical council began taking action and 20 of these doctors were suspended in the month of April 2018. The 20 doctors had confessed that they paid lakhs of rupees in order to procure fake PG degrees and they also named a middleman who is paediatrician by profession.
Later, the MMC summoned 53 specialists for questioning.
Further inquiry led to 50 more doctors coming out and pleading guilty to the fraud and submitting written apologies. These doctors were handed a one-year suspension by the council. Another 7, who did not show for the final hearing were handed over a 5-year ban.
The whole case of fake certificates was linked to a larger scam and is alleged to have been involving more medical practitioners, who were assisting these doctors to get their “Pass certificates.” Doctors allegedly paid between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh for the certificates after failing the CPS examination. The paediatrician, Dr Nyati’s name figured as the kingpin of the scam.
After a confirmed identification that he was the one allegedly helping doctors procure fake certificates, the MMC permanently revoked Dr Nyati’s registration to practice. The Bhoiwada police filed a charge sheet against Dr Nyati, but he managed to get out on bail.
“Most of the students are not even aware that the certificates are fake. They thought they were real. We suspect that nobody from the College of Physicians and Surgeons is involved in the case,” a police official from Agripada police station had informed.
In November, Dr Nyati was arrested under various Indian Penal Code sections of cheating, forgery, breach of trust and using fake documents as genuine.
The police had informed that more arrests will follow as the number people involved in the scam is more than 100, including 58 MBBS medicos who procured the fake degrees for their post-graduation courses from College of Physicians and Surgeons.
In December last year, 48 doctors had been issued show cause notices by the state medical council; after a manual inquiry into the records of each of their PG certification showed discrepancies. The inquiry allegedly revealed that these doctors never appeared for the final medical examinations.
These doctors were suspected to have submitted forged certificates of CPS courses by bribing Dr Nyati.
After all these inquiries and actions, the state medical council failed to notice any satisfactory progress in the case. Thus, MMC recently wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Mumbai Police demanding that the case should be transferred to the Crime Branch for a speedy investigation.
Now, as per a recent report by Mirror, the police have filed a charge sheet against Dr Nyati. One Sajid Subedar, a real estate agent, has been identified as the second accused in the case. Dr Nyati is currently in judicial custody while Subedar is out on bail.
The charge sheet speaks in detail about Dr Nyati’s alleged role in the fake certificate scam. Doctors and medical students had named Dr Nyati as the one who procured the fake certificates. They allegedly transferred money in Dr Nyati’s bank account. Nyati allegedly prepared false certificates of additional qualifications in various specialisations and also prepared forged mark sheets of doctors, the charge sheet said.
Earlier, while rejecting Dr Nyati’s bail, the sessions court had observed, “The applicant’s acts are affecting the society at large and relate to the issue of public health. At the time of deciding the bail application, the court is also required to consider the impact on the society if the applicant (Dr Nyati) is released on bail. The offence committed by the applicant is too serious in nature.”