Lokayukta asks why BJP MP in Mumbai didn’t do rural stint as doctor
Three months after Hindustan Times carried a report on how Dr Heena Gavit, Member of Parliament (MP) from Nandurbar district, skipped her mandatory medical bond services in a rural centre and refused to pay Rs50 lakh in penalty, the Lokayukta office has taken cognisance of the matter.mumbai Updated: Jan 14, 2017 00:49 IST
Three months after Hindustan Times carried a report on how Dr Heena Gavit, Member of Parliament (MP) from Nandurbar district, skipped her mandatory medical bond services in a rural centre and refused to pay Rs50 lakh in penalty, the Lokayukta has taken cognisance of the matter.
The Lokayukta on Friday directed the dean of Sir JJ Hospital, MP’s alma mater, and the director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) to submit a report, explaining the alleged favouritism to her.
On October 21, HT reported that Gavit was given all her original documents despite the fact that she had failed to honour one year bond service after completing her Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Hospital. The information was revealed through a Right to Information application filed by activist Chetan Kothari.
Requesting action against both Sir JJ Hospital and Director DMER, Kothari had said, “This is a clear case of corruption in which rules were bent to favour the MP.”
Dr Gavit, who is the youngest MP from Maharashtra, is the daughter of former state health minister Vijaykumar, who had introduced the mandatory bond service to improve the health sector in rural areas.
The Lokayukta office confirmed they have registered a complaint made on December 2. “We direct Dr Tatyarao Lahane, dean of JJ Hospital and Dr Pravin Shingare, director of DMER, to submit a report,” said the letter issued by the Lokayukta’s office. Sources said Dr Gavit chose to skip the bond because she contested elections after her MD exams.
Meanwhile, the state plans to issue a GR to exempt lawmakers from the mandatory bond service. According to the rules, after the final exam, every medical student has to serve at an assigned government health care centre for a year.
After the final exam, every student from medical, dental and super specialty fields has to serve at an assigned health care centre governed by the state for a year. Students who dishonour the bond service have to pay between Rs15 lakh and Rs2.5 crore, depending on the course. A government resolution to this effect was passed in May 2010.
Tweaking the bond rules
The state plans to issue a government resolution to exempt lawmakers from the mandatory bond service. The move, activists claim, is only to favour the likes of Dr Gavit, since merely a handful of doctors are in the field of active politics.