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U.P. frames new charges against Gorakhpur’s Dr. Kafeel Khan

Doctor Kafeel Khan. File photo

Doctor Kafeel Khan. File photo

Days after an internal inquiry absolved Gorakhpur-based paediatrician Kafeel Khan of the major charges against him in the 2017 BRD hospital tragedy that saw about 30 children succumb due to the ostensible lack of oxygen, the Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday asserted that Dr. Khan had not been given a clean chit as yet.

Moreover, a fresh departmental inquiry has been initiated against him for spreading “misinformation” about the probe report and for making “anti-government” political comments during the period of his suspension. The State has also rapped Dr. Khan for “causing panic” by attempting to treat patients by forcibly entering the paediatric department of district hospital Bahraich with “three, four outsiders” on September 22, 2018.

With this, Dr. Khan faces a total of seven charges.

All four previous charges against the doctor, including the two for which apparently no evidence was found against him in the internal report, are still pending for departmental action, a senior official asserted.

Two years after he was suspended and jailed following the deaths of infants due to alleged lack of oxygen supply at the State-run BRD Medical College, Dr. Khan last week shared with the media an internal report absolving him of the major charge of “medical negligence.”

The report’s author also observed that Dr. Khan was not involved in the process of supply, tender, maintenance, payment or the ordering of oxygen, and that he was also not the nodal officer of the enchephalitis ward at the medical college in Gorakhpur. However, the report found Dr. Khan guilty of indulging in private practice, which goes against the rules.

Principal Secretary, medical education, Rajneesh Dube asserted that Dr. Khan had spread false and misleading information, including on social media, that he had got a clean chit on the basis of this report.

Mr. Dube said that the interim report had found Dr. Khan guilty on two out of the four counts: of private practice and corruption (for allegedly running a private nursing home while holding the post of a senior resident and regular spokesperson for government service).This, Mr. Dube asserted, was “a matter of serious corruption and gross violation of rules.”

Also, even on the other two charges, “a final decision is not yet taken by the government,” Mr. Dube clarified, adding a ‘clean chit’ was still pending.

The official asserted that as per new records it appeared that “prima facie” Dr. Khan was the nodal officer of the 100-bed ward in 2016 and 2017. There were several “correspondences” by him as a nodal officer and he was also a member of the purchasing committee, Mr. Dube said.

Reacting to the government’s fresh action against him, Dr. Khan claimed that the State government had framed three new charges against him “to divert” attention from the “real issues.”

Dr. Khan said instead of holding press conferences on him, the government should hold one on the ‘infants who had died of a sudden shortage of liquid oxygen.’

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 11:44:23 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-frames-new-charges-against-gorakhpurs-dr-kafeel-khan/article29587216.ece