Top health officer booked for ‘forgery’

After a directive from a local court, the Gotri police in the city lodged an FIR against Dr PD Vithalani, additional director of medical education and research in state health department, late on Monday night for allegedly promoting health officers on the basis of forged documents and committing irregularities to the tune of Rs 250 crore in government procurement.

Granting an application filed by one Dr Amalkumar Bhattacharya, district and sessions court of Vadodara on Monday issued the direction to lodge an FIR and conduct an investigation in the matter.

"Gotri police station officer is hereby directed to lodge the FIR in connection with the offense disclosed by the applicant and do proper investigate there of," additional sessions judge P H Gadhvi wrote in his order.

Following the directive, Gotri police lodged the FIR and booked Dr PD Vithalani, additional director of medical education and research in the state health commissionerate and others for forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy.

Dr Bhattacharya, who was an associate professor in the state health services before being suspended by government in 2009, had approached Gotri police with a complaint in June last year. He had alleged that in his capacity as the dean of MP Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, Dr Vithalani had issued fake experience certificate to a medical officer in 2008 to help her get promotion. Dr Vithalani had given similar certificates of two other officers in the past as well. The complaint further alleged that while Dr Vithalani was member secretary in Gujarat Medical Education Research Society, he and others allegedly misappropriated around Rs 250 crore by conniving with suppliers of medical equipments, instruments and furniture in 2010.

However, Gotri police had refused to lodged an FIR and sent Dr Bhattacharya to Gorwa police in the city. Gorwa police sent the doctor back to Gotri police saying the case was not within their jurisdiction. But Gotri police forwarded the complaint to Gandhinagar under alleged political pressure.

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