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'Munnabhai MBBS' Trick Lands Hospital in Soup as SC Orders Probe

The top court has constituted the inquiry committee on a complaint made by the Central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI), which contended that when the inspection of the college was being done, it was discovered that sham patients were lying on the beds to fake the occupancy in the 410-bed hospital.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:December 15, 2017, 8:13 AM IST
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'Munnabhai MBBS' Trick Lands Hospital in Soup as SC Orders Probe
(Image: Network18 Creatives)
New Delhi: Do you remember the scene from cult comic movie Munnabhai MBBS where fake patients try to convince Munnabhai’s father about his son’s hospital? The hospital was set up for a day with sham patients, doctors and other staff in the reel life.

The scene must have left you in splits but an alleged attempt to copy it in real life has put a hospital from Madhya Pradesh in the dock with the Supreme Court ordering an investigation under the supervision of the CBI Director into the presence of fake patients.

A bench of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao has set up a committee, comprising a senior CBI officer and two doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), to examine credentials of the ‘patients’, their medical history, ailments, treatments and the need for hospitalisation in Bhopal’s Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan University medical college.

The top court has constituted the inquiry committee on a complaint made by the central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI), which contended that when the inspection of the college was being done, it was discovered that sham patients were lying on the beds to fake the occupancy in the 410-bed hospital.

Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni and senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing the Centre and the MCI respectively, pointed out that the hospital administration had resorted to manipulation and fraud to secure permission for admitting students for academic year 2017-18.

On the other hand, senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, appearing for the medical college, vouched for the authenticity of these ‘patients’ saying their medical records would corroborate the truthfulness.

At this, the bench noted that if the college has indeed shown fake patients, it would amount to committing an offence under the Indian Penal Code for furnishing false evidence and therefore, an inquiry must be conducted into the truthfulness of the statistics, reports and the material placed before the court.

“We consider it appropriate in the interests of justice to direct that a committee shall be constituted headed by a senior officer deputed by the Director, CBI and two doctors of AIIMS,” ordered the court.

The bench gave 15 days for nomination of the members of the committee, and another three months to conclude its investigation and submit report.

“The committee may visit the college and shall have access to all such information as may be required by it for determining the matters referred to it. The petitioner-college shall fully cooperate with the said committee. The MCI shall also provide any material relating to the inspection in question to the committee,” directed the bench.

About students’ provisional admission in the college, the top court said that evidence on record established that the college had severe deficiencies, demonstrated by the fact that the MCI, on the day of inspection, had noted that not even a single unit of blood was dispensed from the hospital’s blood bank in one full day and the college had further tried to explain absence of doctors by claiming that doctors had been summoned to a police station in connection with a road accident case.

The bench cancelled all the admission in this college for 2017-18 but gave students the respite by directing that the students shall be accommodated by the Madhya Pradesh government in other colleges with their merits in accordance with law.

It also issued a show-cause notice to the medical college as to why the court should not pass order for refunding fees to these students and granting them compensation as well. The court will now take up the matter after receiving the inquiry report from the committee.

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| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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