Medical Profession cannot be reason to overlook Serious Crime: Bombay HC denies Bail to Neurosurgeon
Nagpur: Observing that the profession of a doctor doesn't lessen the seriousness of a crime, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has recently dismissed the anticipatory bail application of a well known city-based Neurosurgeon.
The doctor, who used to run a city-based hospital, was booked for the charges of overcharging patients and defrauding them. It was further alleged that the hospital used MEDNET software for creating forged bills and later using those bills for siphoning money from the patients.
Disagreeing to grant bail to the accused doctor, the High Court bench comprising of Justice Vinay Joshi observed, "Prima facie, there is no material to indicate that the accusation has been made with an object of injuring or humiliating him for having been arrested. Merely because the applicant is a doctor by profession and having immovable property, other vital material and seriousness of crime can't be overlooked."
The HC bench further opined that it was not possible to predict how the information from the doctor would help the investigating agency for drawing a conclusion.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, the doctor had been charged for alleged irregularities in the State Government's Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY).
Sitabuldi Police booked the doctor on the basis of the complaint lodged by a renowned Tax Consultant and brought charges against the doctor under Sections 406, 409, 420,465, 467, 468, 471 of the IPC and Section, 65 (C) of the IT Act, adds Nagpur Today.
The Nagpur Today adds that acting on various complaints by West Nagpur MLA, the former Maharashtra Assembly Speaker, Nana Patole had also sought clarification from the District administration that despite the alleged irregularities, why there was no FIR against the Nagpur-based hospital. It was alleged that the hospital had approved a bill worth of Rs 2 crores from the Government with bogus beneficiaries.
Appealing before the High Court seeking anticipatory bail, the doctor had contended that the inquiry has started and the case mainly depends upon the documents. Pointing out that the investigating agency has already seized computers and hard disks needed for the probe, the doctor contended that it was completely unnecessary for the police to keep him under custodial interrogation. In his bail application, the accused doctor also stressed upon the fact that he was a reputed neurosurgeon.
Informing the court that apart from one crime registered by his partner he had a clean record, the doctor also argued that he had cooperated with the investigation earlier while on interim bail and further assured to do the same.
After listening to the contentions, the HC bench noted that there were irregularities in 57 bills submitted by the hospital. Noting that the numbers of such bills could go up with time, Justice Joshi observed,
"Obviously, the alleged misappropriation is of crores of rupees. The petitioner would be able to furnish the relevant information during the course of interrogation. In view of his position of being major shareholder and chief executive officer (CEO) of the hospital, the possibility of pressurizing his staff can't be ruled out. It's not a fit case to use judicial discretion and grant pre-arrest protection."
The High Court pointed out, as reported by TOI,
1. There were alleged irregularities in the government scheme worth crores of rupees.
2. It was impossible to predict which way the information from the accused doctor would assist.
3. It was very much probable that the clues and information received from the accused doctor could help the investigating agency reach at a logical conclusion.
4. It was such a case where it was absolutely necessary to thoroughly investigate the matter from all possible angles.
5. Following the probe, the police would be able to pinpoint accounts manipulation.
6. At present, there were enough evidences against the accused.
Considering all these facts, the HC bench dismissed the bail application and noted,
"On thorough investigation, the police would be in a position to pinpoint who, and in which manner, manipulated the account. At this juncture, there is ample material against the accused, at least to direct him to join the course of investigation."