Cardiologist gets five-year jail in heart-valve scamMarch 3rd, 2009 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, March 3 (IANS) A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here Tuesday awarded five-year rigorous imprisonment to a leading cardiologist here after he was found guilty of using substandard heart valves during surgeries.
R.S. Dhaliwal, former head of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery department at of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), was convicted along with a chemist for what is known as “heart valve scam”.
Dhaliwal was also fined Rs.140,000. The chemist, Satpal Singla of Paul Medical Store here, was awarded rigorous imprisonment of two years and a fine of Rs.50,000.
The convicts had been allegedly charging patients for premium quality valves, while using substandard ones for implants.
The prosecution told the court that Dhaliwal used to refer his patients and PGIMER officials to two private chemists who gave low-priced valves and accessories to them but charged higher rates. The unscrupulous profit was shared between Dhaliwal and the chemists, the prosecution alleged.
During the CBI investigation, one of the chemists became an approver.
According to a CBI official here, 324 surgeries were done by Dhaliwal during 1994-2001. The CBI investigating agency found discrepancies in 38 of them.
The case was registered against Dhaliwal in May 2003 and he was suspended from PGIMER in Nov 2006.