MCI chief arrested for graft

Centre can do little in the affairs of medical council, says Health Minister

MCI chief arrested for graft


Desai was arrested with two of his associates, Jitender Pal Singh and Kanwaljit Singh. He accepted the bribe in lieu of  MCI recognition to Gyan Sagar Medical College in Patiala.
An MCI approval is mandatory for all Indian medical colleges — both in private and public sector — to admit students.

The CBI laid a trap after receiving a complaint and caught Singh allegedly with Rs 2 crore, that was to be delivered to Desai. It also conducted raids in Punjab, Delhi and Gujarat to trace Desai’s other associates.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad admitted that the government can do little in the affairs of the council. “The government can neither elect nor remove the president. It is up to the council members to elect the president,” he said.

Asked about the rampant corruption in the MCI, Azad said the Centre had already intervened by arresting Desai.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini said the corruption charge, prima facie, seemed grave, and remanded the three persons to  police custody till April 28, for interrogation. The CBI prosecutor sought seven days’ custodial remand of the three accused.

“The custodial interrogation of  the three accused is required to unravel the entire nexus of this case. The CBI wants to ascertain as to whether there are more persons and private medical colleges involved in it,” the prosecutor said.

This is not Desai’s first brush with the law. In 2001, he was removed as MCI president by the Delhi High Court, which found him guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

Desai, a professor of urology in BJ Medical College, however, came back to the MCI a few years later taking advantage of the flawed election system in the council, where lobbying plays a crucial role in selecting the president.

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