In a landmark judgment, a special CBI court has sentenced a former senior surgeon of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here to five years in jail for forgery.
Prof RS Dhaliwal, former head of the cardiovascular and thoracic surgery department, has been found guilty of cheating and forgery. He was also fined Rs 1.4 lakh.
In November-December 2000, HT wrote about medical malpractices at PGI and how Dhaliwal and a local chemist had cheated people who had come to the surgeon for heart surgeries by giving them artificial valves of inferior quality or by not inserting them at all.
Following the expose, the CBI investigated the case and submitted two chargesheets.
“His patients treated him like God. Except greed, there is no motive for him to commit crime,” Justice Jagdeep Jain said while pronouncing the sentence.
The court dismissed the defence counsel’s plea seeking leniency in view of the service rendered by the surgeon to society.
“Here we are dealing with an unscrupulous doctor/public servant who not only has failed to preserve purity of his life, which he had promised while taking Hippocratic oath, but has also adopted devious means to earn money. Persons of his stature debase and defile the very system they are expected to protect,” it said.
Terming the charges against Dhaliwal as calculative and organised crime, the court said, “The verdict must be visited with severe and deterrent punishment”.
The court asked the defence counsel to read out Hippocratic oath — taken by physicians promising ethical practice of medicine — when the counsel sought leniency for accused.
“Prof Dhaliwal deserves no leniency taking into consideration the stature of the person involved,” CBI prosecutor RL Negi argued.