CPS Scam: HC denies relief to Anaesthetist, refuses to set aside MMC suspension
Mumbai: In a strict order passed recently by the Bombay High Court, a doctor, who was temporarily suspended by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) in connection with the scam of fake degrees from College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS); has been denied relief.
The doctor had moved the court after the MMC removed his name from its register for a year, thus barring him from practising medicine for the period. He had completed his MBBS in 1998, after which he cleared Diploma in Anaesthesia and in January 2014, he received the Additional Medical Qualification Certificate from CPS for Fellowship of Anaesthesia.
Over the last couple of years, MMC has been constantly taking action against doctors with fake certificates. Till now, they have taken action against as many as 150 such doctors. The council is still looking into records of CPS from 2014.
Medical Dialogues has been extensively reporting about the Fake Post-Graduate (PG) certificate scam since then. Many doctors have faced the medical council's wrath since then.
It was a shock for the council's officials to hear that the fraudulent activities were reportedly taking place inside the premises of CPS.
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 Snehal 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 got out on bail.
Some doctors did not even fill in examination forms and were declared 'failed', yet they managed to obtain fake certificates. According to MMC sources, some have confessed to having paid for fake certificates.
The name of the doctor involved in the present case had come up after which the state medical council passed an order in March this year against him while holding him guilty of procuring forged certificates. Challenging the MMC order, the doctor approached the court seeking relief so that he can render his services as medical professional amid COVID-19 pandemic.
The doctor claimed that the enquiry after which the MMC passed the order against him was "not in accordance with the rules" and that he was not given a chance to be heard. His petition also says that the MMC order is against the right guaranteed by the Constitution of India under Article 19 (1)(g) -right to profession, reports Mirror.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner doctor submitted before the court that in January last year, the MMC issued show-cause notice on the doctor and in July that year held a meeting with CPS where it was allegedly revealed that the doctor had indulged in fraud. Though my client was present for the meeting, an arbitrary order was passed by the MMC, he said and sought that it to be set aside by the high court, adds The Indian Express.
In response during the video-conference hearing, MMC's Advocate told the bench that a personal hearing was given to the doctor before the enquiry committee and that the certificate submitted by him for the course conducted by CPS was forged, which was accepted by the court.
Taking all the submissions into account, the bench refused to grant relief to the doctor seeking a stay on Maharashtra Medical Council's action against him, as well as the removal of a particular course conducted by the CPS institute.
The bench observed that as the allegations against the doctor were of serious nature and it cannot grant interim reliefs but directed the state to respond on the plea within four weeks. Mirror quotes, in the order, passed on May 4, Justice BP Colabalwalla observed,
"After going through this order (passed by the MMC), prima facie, the charge made against the petitioner is a very serious one viz. of forgery and fabrication. The impugned order is a detailed order setting out all the facts and the steps taken before the impugned order was passed."