White Paper on Dr. Ketan Desai (Part-II)
This has reference to the stories published by Reuters regarding Dr. Ketan Desai who was unanimously elected as President of the World Medical Association (WMA) in October, 2009.
WMA has 111 countries as its members. India is also a member of the WMA for well over four decades. India also has one Council Member (which is against the membership of 50,000 Indian doctors), whereby 50,000 IMA members are also the members of WMA represented by a Council Member of thereat.
In October 2009 during WMA Meeting held at New Delhi, Dr. Ketan Desai was unanimously elected as the President-Elect, WMA. Accordingly, Dr. Desai was to take over as the office of the President of WMA in October 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
On April 22, 2010 when Dr Ketan Desai was President, MCI search was conducted by CBI at his offices at MCI and his house at Ahmedabad and he was taken into custody on the allegation of favouring one private medical college inspite of deficiencies in lieu of money.
In terms of the Seizure Memo of CBI of Delhi dt. 22/4/2010, no cash was recovered and vide Seizure Memo of CBI at Ahmedabad dt. 22/4/2010, a cash of Rs.53,400/- was recovered. The same was not seized and handed over to Dr. Alka Desai, his wife (Annex I – See page No. 5 and Annex IA -PDF attached).
The media on the next day vociferously highlighted that Dr. Ketan Desai was caught red handed taking a bribe of Rs. 2 Crores for giving wrongful permission to Gian Sagar Medical College, which was patently false, concocted and mischievous as both Seizure Memos do not corroborate with the same.
IMA Enquiry committee went through the charge-sheet of the CBI in Gian Sagar Medical College original case and found that charges against Dr. Desai was recommending permission by MCI to the said medical college while he was holding the position of President MCI, for the 4th batch inspite of deficiency being noted. As per CBI charge sheet only deficiency in the college was of auditorium and yet the permission was recommended.
IMA went through the inspection report of MCI dt. 22/3/10 (Annex 2 - PDF attached ) and noted that MCI inspection report has also mentioned the “the auditorium is under construction".
IMA went through the MCI Laws and requirements and noted that for the permission to admit 4th batch in a medical college ‘auditorium’ is not required as against the prescribed statutory requirements but is required for the admission of 5th batch in terms of the Governing Regulations of the Council on Minimum Standard Requirements (Annex 3 -PDF attached ).
The next day i.e 23/4/2010, the CBI also inspected the College and found that except auditorium there was no other deficiency in the college, which was consistent with the findings incorporated in the report submitted by the inspectors of MCI and considered by the Medical Council of India.
On 25th April the then Union Health Minister Sh Gulam Nabi Azad ordered to constitute a high level committee to verify the correctness of the report and recommendation of MCI (annexure pdf )
Accordingly a three member committee was constituted on 26th April ( annexure pdf) led by Mr. Keshav DesiRaju.
On 29th April, Ministry of Health, a team led by Mr. Keshav DesiRaju the then Additional secretary, Dr. Arun Aggarwal (ADGHS) and Dr. Rani Kumar Dean of AIIMS New Delhi also inspected the said medical college and submitted their report. In this report too it has been stated that ‘auditorium was not available’. However inspite of the same the Committee observed and concluded that " the recommendations made by the Executive Committee of the MCI at its meeting on 5.4.2010 to grant permission for admission of 100 students in the year 2010-11 for the fourth batch of MBBS students at the Gian Sagar Medical College & Hospital, Patiala was justified on the basis of the report of the Council Inspectors and the compliance report of made by the Principal. The observations made in the first report have been rectified. Further, the existing facilities and faculty at Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital appear more than adequate to conduct undergraduate medical teaching.
The said report ( dated 3rd May) was forwarded by the Secretary, Ministry of Health, Government of India Ms Sujata Rao to the Director, CBI on 11th May 2010. (annexure pdf)
Thereafter one more inspection was conducted by the Board of Governors appointed by the Central Government. Report dt. 16th/17th June 2010 of the team of inspectors appointed by the Board of Governors also mentioned that no auditorium was available ( Annex 5 - PDF attached ). Accordingly, Board of Governors also accorded permission on 12.7.2010 (Annex 6 - PDF attached ).
IMA internal enquiry failed to decipher why media carried the news that Dr. Desai was caught red handed taking bribe of Rs.2 Crores as against the material fact that the Seizure Memo showed that no cash was recovered from him. Further, the main allegation against him was that the MCI had recommended permission for the said college while he was the President inspite of non availability of Auditorium. However, as per the MCI regulation it is not required and later CBI, Ministry of Health & Board of Governors respectively conducted the inspections and submitted their reports and the said medical college was finally accorded permission to admit 4th batch on 12/7/10 inspite of the non availability of Auditorium, which was noted by MCI in its earlier inspection.
The projected error on the said count was justifiable exclusively on the ground in case the Central Government, Board of Governors, MCI would have denied the permission to this college due to the non availability of auditorium. The very fact, MCI Board of Governors appointed by central Government gave permission to admit 4th batch to said medical college, clearly brought to fore that the allegations were bereft of any merit, whatsoever.
A) MCI Inspection was done on 20th /21st February, 2009. Dr. Desai was not the President of MCI then. Dr. Suresh Shah, MCI Inspector, in his statement under section 164 stated that Dr. Ketan Desai as the President MCI instructed him to be strict in the inspection.
It is pertinent to note that Dr. Desai was not President at the given time.
It is pertinent to note that Dr. Desai was not President at the given time.
B.) The chargesheet of CBI Lucknow case mentions irregularities about 12 Faculty doctors.
1) In cases pertaining to 4 doctors’ cases, Ration cards were submitted by them as proof of residence, which were found to be not genuine by CBI.
However, they have been faculty at the said college, much before that and have been consistently accepted as the teaching faculty by MCI. Dr. Desai was not the President MCI during the concerned period and the affairs of the Medical Council of India were monitored by an Ad-hoc Committee appointed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
2) In another 4 cases, during inspection in Feb. 2009, 4 doctors were shown to be staying at doctor’s quarters in the campus, as per the declaration form by them and endorsed by the Dean of the college. When CBI inspected in Aug. 2010 (after 18 months), these 4 doctors were found not staying in the doctor’s quarter on that day.
c) In the rest 4 cases, doctors did not fill form-16 in their income tax returns.
(Kindly note in all these 12 cases, where is any role attributable to the President of the Medical Council of India)
Allegation of the CBI was that in case the inspection team would have picked up these shortcomings of 12 Doctors, the College would not have been given permission to admit the fresh batch of students.
Lucknow High Court on 16/02/2015 quashed corruption charges against Dr. Ketan Desai under POCA in its entirety. As regards, his involvement in cheating and conspiracy under IPC 420 and 120-B , the Court is yet to decide about framing the charges. Till date no charges have been framed by the competent court.
IMA has in its possession the affidavit filed by the CBI in Lucknow High court in March 2014 (Annex– 7 PDF attached ). The relevant para is reproduced as under:
(i) Whether there is any evidence of meeting of mind or criminal conspiracy against the accused Dr. Ketan Desai with other co-accused person?
Reply of CBI: There is no direct evidence of meeting of mind or criminal conspiracy of Dr Ketan Desai with other co-accused persons. The circumstantial evidence in this regard has been detailed in the counter affidavit filed by CBI on 04.04.2013.
(ii) Whether there is any evidence of quid-pro-quo against the accused Dr Ketan Desai?
Reply of CBI: There is no evidence of quid-pro-quo against the revisionist Dr Ketan Desai in the instant case.
(iii)Whether there is any evidence against the accused Dr Ketan Desai in respect of demand/acceptance/obtainment of any valuable thing/pecuniary advantage?
Reply of CBI: There is no evidence against accused Dr Ketan Desai in respect of demand/acceptance/ obtainment of any valuable thing/pecuniary advantage for himself. As regards the pecuniary advantage caused to the said private medical college mention has been made in the counter affidavit filed by CBI on 04.04.2013.
After going through these 3 replies from CBI, IMA internal enquiry Committee is of the considered opinion that there is not even an iota of evidence against Dr. Ketan Desai under IPC 420 & 120B.However, the Court is yet to decide the case on the merit.
Disproportionate Assets (DA) Case closure
The case of D.A was registered by the CBI in May 2010 against Dr. Ketan Desai and his family members for the period 1/1/97 to 22/4/2010.
After detailed investigation by the CBI, over a period of 2 years, CBI in May 2012 filed a closure report before the Competent Court stating that all accounts/assets in possession of Dr. Desai and his family members are genuine and possession known to legal sources of his and the income of his family members. The Competent Court after due scrutiny accepted the closure report submitted by CBI. As a consequence thereto an appropriate order of removal of any impediment in relation to the assets and bank accounts was also made.
IMA internal enquiry further went into the details of Dr. Desai’s Income Tax Returns. His income scrutiny case decided on 27/4/2001 ( Annex-8 - PDF attached ) showed that from 1/4/90 to 18/7/2000 his undisclosed income was 'NIL'.
The DA case revealed that there was no undisclosed income from 1/1/96 to 22/4/10.
Corroborating the income tax assessment order & DA Report of CBI, it is loud and clear that from 1/4/90 to 22/4/10 for over two decades he and his family member had no undisclosed income.
Both the Income Tax Department and CBI could not find any source of undisclosed/unknown income during the said period spread well over two decades.
The case for disproportionate assets, invariably, begins with the allegation that the assets held are disproportionate to known legal sources of income and therefore, it has to be assumed / accepted that possession of such assets, which are beyond the known legal sources must be from illegal sources say bribe etc. If upon through investigation, the investigating authority concludes that the assets, which are held by the person under investigation, are proportionate to the known sources of his income then in that case, all the allegations of illegal sources of income such as bribe etc. automatically stand to be rejected. No such allegation would then survive in any form. As such, it can be convincingly, concludingly and safely stated that Closure of DA case means that all financial corruptions charges against a person are found to be false and baseless.
Correspondence with WMA:
In 2013, on the basis of these documents, IMA approached WMA to reinstate the Presidentship of Dr. Desai which was held in abeyance because of cases pending against him.
WMA asked for the official correspondence regarding pending case against Dr. Ketan Desai.
Accordingly, the IMA informed the WMA that they have corresponded with the CBI to get the list of all pending cases.
IMA received a letter dt. 22/4/14 (Annex-9 - PDF attached) from the CBI which clearly mentioned that the DA case against him has been closed, as no cash was recovered from Dr. Ketan Desai during search. In Calcutta, Chennai and Hyderabad cases, no evidence was found against Dr. Desai and he was given clean chit. In Lucknow case, charges are yet to be framed and in Delhi case, the proceedings have been stayed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
The copy of CBI letter to the above effect was submitted to the WMA.
WMA upon going through the documents so submitted including the Court orders and the correspondence, decided that Dr. Ketan Desai will legitimately take over as the President of the WMA in October 2016.
Nowhere IMA withheld any information of any type or made any attempt whatsoever to misguide the WMA. The crux of the documentation is the CBI letter and the court orders from time to time, which are in possession of WMA.
IMA in April 2015, brought out a White Paper (part 1) on Dr. Ketan Desai and placed it on its Website ( http://www.ima-india.org/ima/news.php?nid=7) for the information of all concerned by making it a public document.
Is Dr. Ketan Desai a valid Member of MCI:
Now and then, media reports that registration held by Dr. Ketan Desai has been suspended by the MCI. As per IMC Act, one needs to be registered through the State Medical Council and in the case of Dr. Ketan Desai it is Gujarat State Medical Council. His license to practice modern medicine in terms of his registration with the Gujarat State Medical Council was never suspended. However, MCI after his arrest, suspended his license which was later revoked in January 2015. As per statutory regulations MCI is supposed to decide the matter/complain within six months, but in his case MCI did not complete the said enquiry till the elected body took over (almost 3 years). During this period, his license to practice of Gujarat Medical Council was never questioned by the MCI. He remained enrolled continuously without any break on the State medical register of Gujarat State Medical Council. As on today, his name appears in the IMR, maintained by the Medical Council of India. [http://www.mciindia.org/InformationDesk/IndianMedicalRegister.
Gujarat Medical Council, Desai Ketan Dhiraj Lal
Desai Ketan Dhiraj Lal
Correspondence of Reuters:
Apart from verbal interviews, Reuter reporters communicated with the Hony. Secretary General of IMA as well as Dr Ketan Desai. The answers given by Dr. Ketan Desai & IMA are annexed herewith (Annex 10, 11, 12 & 13 - PDF Attached).
In no way, IMA has withheld any information. Whatever IMA has corresponded with the WMA, was based on the reports of the closure of D.A Case and letter received from CBI and the court orders from time to time.
1. Dr. Ketan Desai is IMA’s nominee for the post of President, WMA.
2. He is not there in an individual capacity.
3. IMA’s internal enquiry has clearly shown that he is a victim of circumstances and possible conspiracy at the hands of vested interest plagued and pained at his tough principled policy stands.
4. IMA is not convinced that he has been indulging in any corrupt practices. IMA had and continues to hold impeccable faith in the judicial proceedings and shall abide by the pronouncements / orders of the Hon'ble Courts.
5. IMA is also aware of the Indian Laws that unless convicted one is held to be innocent. Simply an pending FIR does not disqualify anyone from assuming any higher position as the cases may linger on endlessly plagued by delays and latches in India. For e.g., even upon more than four years of time having lapsed in the Lucknow case whether to frame charges against Dr. Desai or not till date has remained and decided. As such, he has to be taken as innocent until and unless he is proved to be guilty and convicted for the same.
6. Imagine, Dr Desai is asked to resign and by next October 2016, before he is scheduled to take over, he is cleared of both the court cases.
7. IMA with all strength at its disposal stands by its decision that Dr. Ketan Desai is a validly nominated and duly elected as the President, WMA in 2016.