Court orders framing of charges against Ramadoss, others

Court orders framing of charges against Ramadoss, others

Former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and several others were today ordered to be put on trial in two corruption cases alleging showing favours to medical colleges by a special court, which said the PMK leader had "criminally conspired" with other accused and abused his authority.

Special CBI Judge Ajay Kumar Jain ordered framing of charges against Ramadoss and others for various alleged offences including criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery for the purpose of cheating and using forged documents as genuine under the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to public servant abusing official position.

The court said the "acts of the accused in indulging for commission of offence of criminal conspiracy are clearly abuse of an authority, thus, the absence of public interest is manifest. The dishonest intention is inherent in committing the offence of criminal conspiracy".

The court fixed November 2 for formal framing of charges against the accused in both the cases. Ramadoss was the Union Health Minister from May 2004 till April 2009 in the UPA-I government.

The two graft cases relate to alleged favours shown by Ramadoss and other accused to a private medical college, Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital (RMCH), Bareilly, in Uttar Pradesh and Indore-based Index Medical College Hospital and Research Centre (IMCHRC).

In the case of IMCHRC, apart from Ramadoss, the court ordered framing of charges against then deputy secretary in the Health and Family Welfare Ministry KVS Rao, college chairman S S Bhadoria, its employees Nitin Gothwal and Pawan Bhambhani.

It said they were prima facie found to have committed the offences under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC read with section 13(2) and 13(1)(d) (abuse of power by public servant) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of IPC.

The court, however, discharged Safdarjung Hospital's doctors J S Dhupia and Dipendra Kumar Gupta, the then section officer in Ministry of Health and family Welfare Sudershan Kumar, IMCHRC Director K K Saxena and faculty S K Tongia.

In the RMCH case, besides Ramadoss and Rao, the court had ordered framing of charges against college chairman K K Aggarwal.
The court said it cannot be held that Dhupia and Gupta had agreed to commit any illegal act with the college authorities or with the officials of the Ministry.

The court said Ramadoss had abused his power, found to have entered into criminal conspiracy and indulged in criminal misconduct in granting approval for admission of students for MBBS course to two colleges. Therefore, he was not entitled for protection under section 197(1) of the CrPC pertaining to grant of sanction to prosecute public servant at this stage.

In the RMCH case, apart from Ramadoss and Rao, the court ordered framing of charges against chairman of the college, K K Aggarwal, saying they were prima facie found to have committed offences of 120-B read with sections 13(2) and 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 420,468, 471 of IPC.

"Prima facie there is a definite chain of circumstances from which it can be inferred that accused Bhadoria, Rao and Ramadoss acted in criminal conspiracy to provide permission for renewal of second batch of MBBS students to Index Medical college in illegal manner," the judge said.

The court, however, discharged two doctors of Safdarjung Hospital, Vindu Amitabh and Sanjiv Kumar Rasania, who were made accused in the graft case by CBI saying circumstances do no suggest that these doctors in any manner colluded and acted in conspiracy with the other accused.

The case pertaining to RMCH was last year transferred by Supreme Court from a court in Lucknow to Delhi after Ramadoss had sought shifting of the trial.

He along with others were chargesheeted by CBI in the case for allegedly showing favours to RMCH in grant of renewal for admissions in the MBBS course in 2008-2009.

The court had held that common object of the accused was to achieve approval of admission of second batch of MBBS students in an illegal manner, for which the inspection team was sent "clandestinely" without formal orders and declaration forms, bed occupancy reports were forged to show that adequate strength exists for approval.

"In this case, accused (Ramadoss) is prima facie found to have criminally conspired with other accused in granting pecuniary advantage, i.e. approval to the college. Thus, he abused his position as public servant or holding office as a public servant," it said.

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