New Delhi, 16 Apr : The Special Judge, CBI, Chandigarh has appreciated the role of Investigating officer and Senior Public Prosecutor of CBI while sentencing Dr. R.S. Dhaliwal, Professor and Head of the Department of Cardio Vascular and Thoracic Surgery (CVTS), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh to undergo five years Rigorous Imprisonment with a total fine of Rs. 1.40 Lakhs and other accused Satpal Singla, Proprietor of Paul Medical Hall, Chandigarh to undergo two years Rigorous Imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- in a Heart Valve Scam Case. The court has observed in its judgement that " Before parting, the court would like to place on record its deep sense of appreciation for the untiring and diligent efforts of the Investigation Officer who has conducted the investigation in absolutely impartial manner and, the learned Public Prosecutor and the defence counsel who have ably assisted the court in bringing this case to logical conclusion."
The Director CBI, Shri Ashwani Kumar has awarded both the officials i.e. Inspector Jai Singh, Investigating Officer and Sh. R.L. Negi, Senior Public Prosecutor by giving them cash reward of Rs. 5,000/- each alongwith appreciation letters for their sincere efforts for excellent prosecution and investigation of this sensitive case.
The Anti-corruption Branch of CBI, Chandigarh registered a case on 29.5.2003 against Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal, Professor & Head of the Deptt. of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Sh.Surinder Singh Uppal, Proprietor of alleged unknown existing firms and Sh.Satpal Singla, Proprietor of M/s. Paul Medical Hall, Chandigarh on the allegations that Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal and others hatched a criminal conspiracy and, thus, cheated patients & their wards by charging exorbitant rates of artificial heart valves implanted on the patients. They also forged and fabricated the records.
The CBI investigation revealed that Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal used to refer the patients or their wards to Sh.S.S.Uppal. He then used to collect either cash or bank draft in favour of his non-existent firms namely M/s High Teen Surgical Company, New Delhi, M/s Health care Instruments, New Delhi and M/s Alpha Surgical Company, Chandigarh. He used to supply cheap valves and share the money with Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal. Sh.Uppal also issued fake bills to justify the amount received from the patients and their wards. The investigation specified 24 instances in which Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal received money from Sh.S.S.Uppal out of the amount collected from the patients. In certain instances Dr.Dhaliwal obtained the cost of two valves but implanted only one valve. In order to implement his plan, he forged the record by making additions and alterations.
The CBI investigation further established that Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal used to send requisitions for costlier brand of valves but implanted cheaper brands supplied by Sh.Satpal Singla, proprietor of M/s.Paul Medical Hall, Chandigarh. Sh.Singla used to issue fake bills mentioning sale of costlier valves against the actual supply of cheaper valves. During the painstaking investigation, more than 125 witnesses were examined and the voluminous records of PGIMER and the private firms were scrutinized. CBI filed two charge sheets in February, 2006.
The court of Special Judge, CBI, Chandigarh convicted Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal and Sh.Satpal Singla for the offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, use of forged documents and offences under Prevention of Corruption Act. The Court granted pardon to Shri S.S.Uppal as he admitted his guilt and confessed the crime committed by him in conspiracy with Dr.R.S.Dhaliwal.