Doc misuses funds, sent to jail

Siphons off Rs 2 crore WHO money meant for leprosy scheme

 Sentencing a doctor to seven years in jail for siphoning off a part of WHO funds meant for leprosy eradication programme in India two decades ago, a Delhi court has directed that all property purchased by him with that money be used for running asylum for lepers.

Special CBI judge V K Maheshwari handed down seven-year jail term to Dr Baij Nath Mittal, 73, ex-director general (leprosy) in the ministry of health and family welfare.
It also slapped a fine of Rs 6 lakh on him after finding him guilty of misappropriating Rs 1.46 crore given by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for work relating to eradication of leprosy in India during 1991-93.

“This act of convict has tarnished the image of India in the international community," the court said.

Mittal received Rs 4.42 crore fund from WHO and UNICEF for eradication of leprosy. He, along with his accomplice Mukesh Kumar Gupta, a statistical assistant in the ministry and Krishan Chand Gupta, a head cashier in the State Bank of Mysore, transferred Rs 1.46 crore out of the fund into fictitious bank accounts.

The court noted that with the misappropriated fund Mittal had purchased a flat in DLF Gurgaon, a property in CR Park in his name and other properties in the name of his wife and his two sons.

“As these properties were purchased by the funds which were meant for leprosy eradication programmes, hence these properties be used for running asylum for lepers,” the court said.

“Convict B N Mittal, his wife Dr Krishna Mittal and his sons Amit Mittal and Deepak Mittal are directed not to sell, alienate, transfer, mortgage or dispose of such properties in their name,” it added.

“CBI is also directed to get a notice served in this regard to Dr Krishna Mittal, Amit Mittal and Deepak Mittal,” the court said.

It deplored Mittal’s act saying “being a senior doctor he must be well aware of all the consequences and evil affects caused by leprosy to the human beings.”
The judge rejected his plea for leniency “under the garb of his illness”.

The judge said, “He has shaken the confidence of foreign agency to donate its  funds for such noble causes like eradication of diseases in India in future.”

The court also sentenced Gupta to five years in jail and Rs 3 lakh fine holding that he had misappropriated Rs 58 lakh.

And also directed the CBI to forfeit assets available in his name worth that amount.
Convict Krishan was sentenced to three years in jail and a fine Rs 50,000 was imposed on him.

Comments (+)