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OSD faces charges, Minister says departmental probe cleared him

Maharashtra’s Education Minister Vinod Tawde’s officer on special duty (OSD) Charudatta Shinde is facing charges for allegedly approving false certificates of colour-blindness to around 29 drivers of State transport buses in Dhule district. An FIR registered against Dr Shinde, who is among four senior-level officers and 29 state transport (ST) bus drivers, mentions the charges of cheating and forgery.

The Dhule police station registered the FIR in October on the basis of a report prepared by NU More, Senior Security and Vigilance officer (State transport, Nasik) in July 2014. As per the report, 29 ST drivers were given false certificates of colour-blindness during six-month period from June 2013 to September 2013. As a result, these drivers were given the job of security guard at the equal pay scale. Apart from finding then Division Controller Avinash Patil guilty for forging the certificates, the report blamed then district civil surgeons Dr Shinde and Dr Gowardhan Gaikwad for giving fake certificates. It also recommended action against them.

Dr Shinde, who is a close relative of Dhule’s BJP MP Dr Subhash Bhamare, was appointed an OSD with Mr Tawde in 2015. While an FIR was lodged against 33 State government employees in October 2015, all had already secured anticipatory bail from the court.

When contacted, Mr Tawde said a departmental inquiry has been conducted. “The inquiry has not found anything against Mr Shinde. He did not do anything wrong and I was convinced about this from our departmental inquiry.” When contacted, Dr Shinde termed it a ‘politically-motivated conspiracy.’ “Yes, there are allegations against me and the FIR. But being a district civil surgeon I was only the counter signatory on the certificate. The patients were checked by ophthalmologists and not by me. I have nothing to hide in this matter and I am sure that the court will do justice to me,” he told The Hindu . Dr Shinde said he would have been guilty had he overturned the decision. “But I did not do that. I approved what was told to me.”

A source who shared the documents with The Hindu said a three- member panel was assigned the job of checking the drivers for colour-blindness. “The report prepared by the transport department does not even mention the ophthalmologist. There have been several cases of giving false medical certificates to patients in Dhule. This case is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

An FIR has been registered against Shinde, who is among 4 officers and 29 ST drivers

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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 1:10:13 AM |

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