A day after Hindustan Times highlighted how a private doctor had colluded with a Ghuman-based hospital to perform 153 illegal cataract operations and left 38 people blinded in one eye, the local police on Tuesday reconstituted their special investigation team (SIT).
“As most officers working on the case had been transferred, I reconstituted the four-member SIT led by superintendent of police (investigation) Pardeep Malik,” said Batala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Daljinder Singh. The other members were DSP (detective) Dilbag Singh, CIA (crime investigation agency) in-charge, and the station house officer (SHO) of Ghuman, he added.
Asked about the time frame for submitting report, he told said the medical analysis sought from the health department could establish negligence. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had sent health secretary Vini Mahajan to Ghuman to look into the case. After visiting the hospital, she had asked the deputy commissioner to register a criminal case against the accused. That very day, an FIR (first-information report) was made out at Ghuman against several people.
Sources said it would difficult for police to arrest the Jalandhar-based doctor, as he was protected by a Supreme Court judgment. “Moreover, it is highly unlikely that a case of criminal negligence can be proved against him,” said an officer working on the case.
Even after more than a year of the incident, the Batala police are yet to identify who runs Guru Nanak Multi-Specialty Hospital, where 157 eye surgeries were conducted between October 31 and November 4, 2014.
Union minister of state Vijay Sampla, who represents this parliamentary constituency; and Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna had guaranteed strict action against anyone whose negligence was proved; but police and the health administration had not let it happen.