Mumbai: 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), has been arrested by Agripada Police recently.
The arrested doctor has been booked under various Indian Penal Code sections of cheating, forgery, breach of trust and using fake documents as genuine.
Medical dialogues had extensively reported about the scam since months. The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) stumbled upon the scam over a year 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.
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.
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 state medical council began taking action and in the first go- 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 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 informed Mirror. The police officials said they will be discussing with seniors about the course of action against the doctors.
The police informed TOI 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.