CBI arrests MCI president Ketan Desai, 3 others in Rs 2 cr bribery case

Dr. Ketan Dhirajlal Desai.
Dr. Ketan Dhirajlal Desai.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested Medical Council of India (MCI) President Ketan Desai, along with three others, in connection with a bribe of Rs 2 crore for granting recognition to a new medical college in Punjab.

The others arrested included an alleged middleman, identified by sources as Jitender Pal Singh of Delhi, and two officials of the Patiala-based medical college, including its vice-chairman.

The CBI said in a press release that the four men, who were arrested here late last night, were produced today before the designated court in Delhi, which remanded them to the custody of the agency for five days. Further investigations were in progress, it said.

According to the release, the CBI had received reliable information to the effect that Dr Desai had entered into a conspiracy with the middleman and the officialsof the Patiala medical colelge for granting permission to start admission of students from the academic year 2010-11 to different courses at the college without having complied with objections pointed out earlier by the inspection committee.

The release said Dr Desai had agreed to do this "in lieu of a heavy monetary consideration" and the CBI had registered a case yesterday.

Dr Desai is currently the Head and Professor of the Urology Department of B J Medical College (BJMC), Ahmedabad. He is also the president-elect of the World Medical Association.

The Medical College and Hospital had earlier applied for permission for admission of students for the academic session 2010-11. The executive committee of the MCI, at its meeting on February 5 this year under the chairmanship of Dr Desai, had found that the college was lacking in requisite infrastructure. On account of these deficiencies, mentioned in the inspection report, the college was not granted approval and its request was declined.

The CBI press release said that, subsequent to the registration of the case, the agency had laid a trap and arrested the middleman with Rs 2 crore sent to him by the Vice-Chairman of the Medical College for delivery to the MCI President "in lieu of favour shown to the Medical College."

The release said the CBI had conducted searches at various places in Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and Gujarat and recovered several incriminating documents, cash and other valuable items from the residential as well as official premises of the accused persons.

According to the MCI website, Dr Desai was the youngest ever president of the Gujarat Medical Council, MCI and Indian Medical Association. He also had the distinction of being the youngest-ever dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Gujarat University. Among various prizes and honours, he has won the B C Roy National Award.

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