It came as a shock to medical practitioners across the world when Indian urologist Ketan Desai recently became the head of the top medical-ethics body World Medical Association (WMA). Dr. Desai was the chief of Medical Council of India, where he came under the radar for allegations of corruption. WMA’s decision to choose choose Dr. Desai was already in place, but was delayed because he was facing corruption charges.
In a case filed in 2010 in Delhi, Dr. Desai faces corruption charges of criminal conspiracy for allegedly taking bribe of Rs. 20 million from a medical college. This, the complaint said was to give permission to that medical college to add more students.
CBI took over the case of Dr. Desai and pointed out in their charge sheet that Desai along with his associates, got a favourable inspection report for Gian Sagar Medical College in Patiala, Punjab. This was done despite several discrepancies in the college.
The chargesheet said that the key conspirators were Dr. Ketan Desai then President of MCI, Dr. Sukhwinder Singh, VC Gian Sagar Charitable Trust and middleman JP Singh. Sukhwinder Singh and Desai came together and conspired to grant permission to Gian Sagar Medical College, Patiala, for admission of students to the college for different courses even though the college did not have appropriate infrastructure and facilities.
The permission for admissions was sought by the college for the year 2010 – 2011.
Phone conversations accessed by CBI between Desai and JP Singh reveals that Desai used the names of prominent people in the region to refer to different colleges. So, Mamata was used to describe a college in WB, Baadal was used to refer to Gian Sagar Medical College.
IBN Live in its investigation, reported that during the first inspection of Gian Sagar, 14 deficiencies were found including non-existing auditorium. A re-inspection on March 22 by the MCI found that the college still lacked an auditorium, yet on April 5, MCI executive committee approved the college for taking admissions and recommended the government to grant the permission for admitting 4th year MBBS students.
Based on various suspicious telephonic conversations, CBI raided JP Singh’s residence in Vasant Kunj on 23rd April and recovered 2 crore rupees meant to be sent to Desai from Sukhwinder Singh. The case against Desai in Delhi is still going on and yet, the World Medical Association chose to make him the president of its ethical body, which again raises numerous questions.