Tainted docs in police custody
Chandigarh, September 29
The CBI sources said that investigations so far into the multi-crore admission scam hinted that infiltration of racketeers into the PGI admission process was not possible without the connivance of insiders. Investigators would scrutinise records of the admission process, including admit cards issued for the entrancetest. Credentials of over 350 doctors in the PGI are to be screened.
“We are looking into all aspects of the case and conducting a thorough probe to get to the bottom of the racket. We cannot say anything more at this stage. Investigations are at an initial stage but we will properly interrogate the two doctors to get details about the entire channel,” CBI Chandigarh Zone DIG Mahesh Aggarwal said.
Sources said that the records of the admission process would help the CBI identify the accused. More cases of fraudulent admission could also surface. About other top medical institutions in the country being part of the scam, DIG Aggarwal refused to comment.
On the role of Dr Amit Musale and Dr Sujay Sonawane in the racket, a senior CBI officer said the doctors could have been agents of the mastermind. “The mastermind had sent parents of aspiring candidates to these doctors to hear their success story first-hand,” DIG Aggarwal said.
Public prosecutor Pawan Kumar Dogra sought a five-day police remand of the accused, pleading before the court that they investigators wanted to trace the impersonators after interrogating the duo. He also said that the CBI wanted to know about the others involved in the scam. The CBI obtained signatures of the doctors on blank paper in front of judge Jasbir Singh Sidhu.
However, defence counsel Rabindra Pandit argued both Dr Amit Musale and Dr Sujay Sonawane had been in CBI custody for over 36 hours. “If they (the CBI) failed to get any valuable information from them in such a long time, it clearly shows that no more interrogation of the suspects is required. The CBI would only torture the accused, forcing them to act on its directions,” the defence counsel said.
Both accused kept mum in court and did not speak to mediapersons. Dr Sujay Sonawane’s left eye was swollen. A CBI officer said he was suffering from conjunctivitis. Both doctors had completed MBBS from Maharashtra before getting admission in PGI.
Yesterday, the CBI had raided the house of alleged mastermind Gaurav Shalin in Mumbai and Bangalore and claimed to have seized several incriminating documents. However, it refused to divulge details.
PGI suspends tainted docs
Chandigarh, September 29
Sub dean of the PGI Dr Amod Gupta confirmed that both doctors have been suspended. “We are in the process of detecting loopholes in the admission process so that such incidents do not happen again. For the purpose, the PGI has set up a review committee that will headed by the dean,” said Gupta.
On Tuesday, Dr Amit Musale and Dr Sujay Sonawane students of MD pharmacology and paediatrics, respectively, were arrested by the CBI after The Tribune blew the lid off the admission scam.
Interestingly, the PGI had started videographing the entrance tests for admission to nursing and medical technologist courses years ago after suspecting some foul play in the admission process. However, such a mechanism was not in place for the MBBS or MD entrance tests.
The PGI spokesperson said the sanction for videography and biometric attendance system during examinations for admission to MBBS and MD courses had been procured a month ago. “In future, all steps would be taken during examinations to strengthen the system and make it foolproof,” she said.