Smart alec's machinations to dodge duty

trouble: A goods auto rickshaw which has brought equipment from Mumbai to the Hassan Medical College is seized by the Hassan Police on Thursday.  DH photo

The Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences (HIMS) is in the news for the wrong reasons once again, after irregularities in recruitment of non-teaching staff surfaced last year. But this time for no fault of the college.

The institute has ‘imported’ equipment worth ` 55 lakh and director Dr H R Prasad is not even aware of the import. The incident came to light on Thursday and Prasad has registered a case with the police in this regard.

Prasad suspects that the trick may be the handiwork of someone wanting to avoid import duty. The Mumbai-based importing company is a government organisation and import duty is completely waived of for buying equipment for medical colleges, he said.

On Thursday morning, HPTCL (chromatograph) machine used in laboratories and their spare parts were brought to the college in a goods autorickshaw. They had been sent by Mumbai-based firm M & P Clearing and Forwarding Agencies Private Limited. 

Those who brought the machines in the auto contacted the director and told him about the consignment.

Taken aback, Prasad said they had not ordered such a machine. But the transporters showed him a letter sent from the college with Prasad’s signature on it.

The director who realised that his signature had been forged immediately informed the police. Police arrived at the spot and took custody of the goods auto and the machine. The police are questioning Gotia and Mukhesh who had brought the machines.

The machine had been imported from a firm called, Camag Ag, of Switzerland on December 16, 2010 and the total cost of the machine is ` 55,46,718.

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