CBI arrests Safdarjung Hospital neurosurgeon for extorting patients

The allegations against Manish Rawat and his confidants pertain to bribery and corruption.

Updated - March 30, 2023 09:04 pm IST

Published - March 30, 2023 07:15 pm IST - New Delhi

File image for representation.

File image for representation. | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday arrested a neurosurgeon of Safdarjung Hospital here and his four accomplices for allegedly forcing patients into buying surgical equipment from a particular store at exorbitant prices for early dates of their surgery.

The agency raided several locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and busted the nefarious nexus, officials said, adding that Manish Rawat, the neurosurgeon, was arrested in the early hours of Thursday.

Following a thorough investigation, the CBI sleuths apprehended Mr. Rawat and four of his confidants, including Deepak Khattar, the proprietor of Kanishka Surgical in New Delhi, and middlemen Avnesh Patel, Manish Sharma, and Kuldeep.

After his arrest, Mr. Rawat underwent a medical examination at the same hospital at 7.52 a.m. on Thursday, a CBI spokesperson said.

The allegations against them pertain to bribery and corruption.

Also Read | Two doctors arrested on bribery charges in Thrissur 

The CBI has accused Mr. Rawat of colluding with his accomplices to demand payment from patients for medical consultations and surgical procedures, all while violating the hospital's established protocols.

According to information obtained by the CBI, Mr. Patel contacted patients' relatives on behalf of Mr. Rawat and asked them to obtain the necessary surgical instruments from Mr. Khattar's shop in Jangpura to secure early appointments for surgery.

He then requested them to pay the sum either in cash to Sharma or Kuldeep, who were Mr. Khattar's employees, or transfer it online to mobile numbers linked to the bank accounts of these employees, the CBI said.

Mr. Patel allegedly delivered the money received from the patients' attendants to Mr. Rawat personally in cash or sent it to others as per the surgeon's directives after collecting it from Sharma, Kuldeep, or Mr. Khattar.

The CBI spokesperson divulged that Mr. Rawat coerced patients into paying a price which was manifold over the actual price for the instruments. The shop owner shared the profits of overbilling with the accused surgeon, the spokesperson said.

The investigation has further exposed Mr. Rawat's directions to his patients to deposit bribes ranging from ₹30,000 to ₹1.15 lakh into a middleman's bank account.

The agency has also accused Mr. Rawat of siphoning off the excess money generated by the sale of overpriced surgical equipment, enriching himself and his co-conspirators through bribes, and laundering their ill-gotten gains through various companies controlled by Ganesh Chandra, a private individual in Bareilly.

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