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NRI doc gets 5 yrs in jail in Canada

Ravi Devgan (60) has been sentenced to a five-year jail term by a Canadian court for trafficking in prescription pills.

india Updated: Feb 19, 2008 12:25 IST

An Indian-origin doctor has been sentenced to a five-year jail term by a Canadian court for trafficking in prescription pills.

Ravi Devgan, 60, who is serving a three-year term for fraud, was convicted in November of medical malpractices.

A jury found him guilty of ordering various prescription drugs, including Oxycontin and Hydromorphone, in his patients' names and then selling them for personal gains.

A pharmacist, who testified against Devgan, told the court that a woman accomplice would enlist drug patients for the doctor who would prescribe various drugs, including the highly addictive Oxycontin, for them.

Then the woman would go to the pharmacy on behalf of the patients and pick up the prescribed drugs.

But these drugs were never given to the patients. Instead, the doctor and the woman sold them for a profit.

Justice Todd Ducharme said Devgan deserved to spend five more years in jail for "serious breach of trust".

Due to his old age and ill health, the judge ordered that the two sentences run concurrently.

The prosecution lawyer had demanded a five-year concurrent jail. However, Devgan's lawyers argued that he deserved no more than six months.

In July last year, he was convicted of falsely charging thousands of dollars from a family by giving expensive sheep foetus injections to treat their severely disabled twins. In October, he was sentenced to three years in jail.

The sentencing cost him his practicing license too. In stripping him of the license, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons said Devgan "preyed on terminally ill cancer patients", gave them a false hope and defrauded them of $30,000.