AIIMS ENTRY EXAMINATION DOCTORED
Cops sniff out gang of doctors impersonating as candidates
By Bhuvan Bagga in New Delhi
The police have discovered that some candidates, who appeared for the All- India Post Graduate Medical Examination ( AIPGME) conducted by AIIMS this year, paid huge sums to get more proficient doctors impersonate them at the examination so that they could qualify for the country’s premier medical colleges.
Investigations into the racket revealed the involvement of doctors working with prominent hospitals in Delhi. Those who took the medical exams in place of the actual candidates received considerable sums. Each candidate, who took the help of the fraudsters, paid between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 15 lakh for securing admission into a postgraduate course.
The police stumbled upon the racket when they identified a candidate who had qualified in the AIPGME held on January 17 this year, the results for which weredeclared in February. Crime Branch officers of Delhi Police were taken aback when they found the candidate, an MBBS doctor, had qualified for the AIPGME after someone else wrote the tough examination for him.
The candidate had qualified in the Scheduled Castes ( SC) category and was an MBBS doctor from from Lucknow’s King George’s Medical College ( KGMC). The police believe there could be several others like him. The network of doctors and owners of coaching schools who ran the racket were said to be so brazen in their functioning that they threw caution to the winds.
One of the key figures in the racket, identified by Crime Branch officers as Vijay Pratap Singh of Ghaziabad is learnt to have disclosed during questioning, “ Most of the time we refer our Lucknow office address ( on the candidate’s examination form) so that the admit card comes directly to us rather than the candidate.” It was an elementary mistake that led the police to Singh’s door. The racket first came to light following Raids at an examination centre in Noida on January 13 that led to the arrests of Singh and Dr Shamshaul Hoda on January 17. An MBBS from a Patna medical college, Hoda had approached Singh with a request to find him an impersonator.
He had made a part payment of Rs 3 lakh to Singh. Crime Branch got wind of this and nabbed both Singh and Hoda. Raids at Singh’s house in Supertech, Vaishali in Ghaziabad district have yielded incriminating documents, like admit cards and candidate profiles, the police claimed. Singh and Hoda, who were arrested by the Crime Branch, are now on bail.
It is largely on the leads provided by Singh during questioning that the police have proceeded with the investigations. The candidate from KGMC, whose case alerted the police about the racket, had said in his examination form that his admit card be delivered to an address in Lucknow’s Nav Nanak Nagar even though he was a resident of Mathura. The police are investigating whether the Nav Nanak Nagar address belonged to the racket run by Singh, who after his arrest by the police is now on bail.
According to Delhi Police, the mastermind of the nationwide racket is S. P. Singh, a resident of Pune who is said to have a good network in Pune, Gujarat and Lucknow, apart from the NCR areas. Those who were part of the racket are said to have a well- defined role to play and included liaisoning with admission committees of professional colleges.
From S. P. Singh, the candidates were directed to Vijay Pratap Singh’s offices at Ghaziabad or Lucknow for the necessary paper work. That done, the admit cards were handed over to another key person in the chain, identified by the Crime Branch as Dr Gopal Krishnan. He would arrange for the doctors who would impersonate the candidates at the examination centre.
Vijay Pratap Singh told the police that it was Dr Krishnan who would handle staff on duty at the examination centre in order to prevent the racket from being exposed. “ The fraud is done in such an organised manner that no one comes to know of the fraud,” Vijay Pratap Singh has reportedly told officers of the Crime Branch. Crime Branch officers have sent a notice to the Controller General of Counselling, AIPGME, which comes under the Union ministry of health, seeking examination- related details about the KGMC doctor.
The letter was despatched on March 25. Dr T. D. Dogra, Director, AIIMS, refused to comment on the investigations by the Crime Branch. Dr K. K. Deepak, who oversees the examination process, also refused to comment and instead demanded that he be given the number of the correspondent’s ‘ immediate boss’. Last November, M AIL T ODAY had exposed the thriving examination scam by relating the case of Rajiv Babu who was ranked 211 in the postgraduate examination conducted by AIIMS.
Babu had managed to get into AIIMS even though he was accused in three medical examination paper leak cases that were being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI). After the report, Babu opted out of the AIIMS councelling. The police are meanwhile screening at least four more doctors who had cleared other national medical exams. Of the four doctors, three had completed their MBBS in foreign countries before clearing their Foreign Medical Graduate Examination ( FMGE), held in late September 2007, which entitles them to practise in the country. “ We are looking into their antecedents since we had found their documents from Vijay Pratap’s premises in Ghaziabad,” said a police officer. Satyendra Garg, additional commissioner of police ( Crime Branch) said; “ Our investigations will only proceed in a step by step way and depending on what we further get, may even end up on a wide national level.”
Meanwhile, the KGMC doctor who appeared for the AIPGME examination is still to appear for counselling.IMPERSONATORS INC. CASE DIARY A resident of Mathura, Pankaj Singh appeared for the annual AIPGE– 2008. He secured 465th rank in his category. On January 17, crime branch arrested Vijay Pratap, one of the kingpins of the impersonation racket, and Shamshaul Hoda. Investigations found that Pankaj too ‘ cleared’ the exam with the help of an impersonator. He had even given ‘ Singh- Pratap’ gang’s Lucknow office for his examination admit card to be delivered.
On March 25, crime branch wrote to the controller general of Counselling, AIPGE, seeking more details about Pankaj. Ghaziabad Pune Lucknow Delhi GOPAL KRISHAN A resident of Gautam Nagar in South Delhi. He was the pointman who arranged for impersonators to appear in the exams on behalf of the original candidates. VIJAY PRATAP SINGH He ran SPS Education and Counselling Center from his office at 302 Regent Block, Supertech Estate Sector- 9, Vaishaili in Ghaziabad. SODHI MAIL TODAY doesn’t have much detail about him. However, going by the revelations of Vijay Pratap Singh, he was a key member of the gang. S. P. SINGH Accused of running the racket nationally, based out of Pune.
Liaison with the committees of many professional colleges. A very strong network that attracted many ‘ prospective clients’. Two arrests by Delhi Police blows the lid off a network of impersonators sitting for candidates in the AIIMS entrance tests.
bhuvan. bagga@ mailtoday. in
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