Mumbai: Seeing no satisfactory progress in the case ever since the scam of fake degrees of doctors from College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS), has been exposed over two years ago, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has sought higher authorities to take over the case.
According to a recent report by Mirror, the state medical council has written to the Commissioner of Mumbai Police demanding that the case should be transferred to the Crime Branch for speedy investigation.
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 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 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.
Speaking to the Mirror, Dr Shivkumar Utture, MMC President, confirmed that the council wrote to the Commissioner of Police about the case. He stated, “Being the custodians, we are concerned about the patients. We want that the patients should get treated only by qualified doctors. All safeguards must be in place, and should not be thrown to the wind as this scam has exposed.’’
“In June 2016, the MMC first informed the Agripada police about the suspected scam with 20 students’ certificates, and requested it to file an FIR, but the police did nothing. The FIR was filed only two years later. There is no satisfactory progress in the case,” the MMC stated in the letter.