Chargesheet filed against 11 in PGI ambulance scam
Took people on a ride Around 3,500 pages long, challan lists 66 witnesses, including Red Cross personnel and PGI staff .punjab Updated: Feb 08, 2018 17:47 IST
City police have filed the chargesheet in the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education ambulance scam where 11 accused, including security guards, body packers, mortuary attendant and a proclaimed offender. The matter will come up for hearing on Friday.
Around 3,500 pages, the challan was filed in the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMIC) Jagmeet Singh by the Sector-11 police on Wednesday.
Two gangs were active in Chandigarh’s PGI and fleeced kin of deceased to take bodies from the hospital .
The accused are: transporters Satinder Singh alias Satti, Raj Kumar; security guards Vinod Kumar, Shashi and Gurkirpal Singh, aka Kala; body packers Ashwani, Tirathpal and Ashwani Kumar; mortuary attendant, Vicky, transporters Gagandeep Mann alias Fauji who was declared PO in December 2017 and Ravinder.
The accused are challaned under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 473 ( making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc, with intent to commit forgery punishable otherwise), 384 (punishment for extortion) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
There are 66 witnesses, including PGIMER staff, persons from Red Cross, who drove some of the ambulances, inspectors, among others. Ashwani Khanna, manager, Mansa Devi Trust of Red Cross Society, is the chief witness as per the challan.
How nexus operated, flourished
An organised ambulance racket where the gang members forcefully charged hefty prices from the kin of patients of the deceased was busted in May 2016.
In the absence of any board with information about the PGI’s ambulance service, attendants of the patient would hire illegal ambulances that charged Rs 30 per km as against the approved rate of Rs 9 per km. For service in the tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, the gang charged Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 for a trip, while the actual rate was Rs 300.
If the body was to be taken within a distance of 100km, the family of the deceased was told to pay Rs 4,000, instead of charges per km. PGI’s body packers and mortuary staff were paid anything between Rs 200 and Rs 500, while security guards were paid at the rate of Rs 1 per km.
It was also claimed that kingpins, Fauji and Satti, were given Rs 5,000 per month by the taxi unions, which had tied up with him to provide ambulances for transporting bodies from the premier institute. The initial interrogation established that gang members were giving money to these seven people and security guards had been working with PGIMER for the past 16 years.
The gang members used to park their illegal ambulances near the emergency ward, ATC and the mortuary.
Lower staff involving private security guards, mortuary and sweepers appointed inside these three departments tipped off the drivers about arrival of critical patients and departure of bodies. The parking of vehicles, including private and government, nearby and outside the emergency and ATC is not allowed, but the gang members were enjoying the facility at the behest of the employees of the private contractors.