INQUIRY AGAINST FDA OFFICERS

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THE MEDICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT HAS DEMANDED AN INQUIRY REPORT FROM THE FDA COMMISSIONER AGAINST ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER B R MASAL, INSPECTOR PRAVIN PAWAR AND INSPECTOR V D CHAUDHARY FOR NOT TAKING NECESSARY ACTION AGAINST QUACKS, THEREBY ALLEGEDLY SHIELDING THEM

MUMBAI: Three officers of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Mumbai, are under the scanner for alleged improper investigation and favouring quacks.

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The officers under the scanner are Assistant Commissioner B R Masal, Inspector Pravin Pawar and Inspector V D Chaudhary. The Government of Maharashtra had instructed the Medical Education Department Secretary to submit an inquiry report on these officers from the FDA Commissioner.

Last week, Dr Ved Tiwari, Vice President, Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena (MNVS) got information through the Right To Information (RTI) Act that on October 26 the Secretary, Medical Education Department, demanded reports from the FDA Commissioner on Masal, Pawar and Chaudhary. Dr Tiwari had complained to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the FDA against 20 bogus doctors, including Mahendra Prasad Yadav, Krishna Dev Singh and Jung Bahadur Yadav from Sakinaka and Powai areas.

FDA officers inspected and found several doctors practising medicine without any medical qualifications. The three FDA officers under scanner registered an FIR against one bogus doctor, Sarfaraz Khan, at the Powai police station. But it is alleged that they apparently shielded Mahendra Yadav, Krishna Dev Singh and Jung Bahadur Yadav by not registering an FIR against them.

As per the RTI report, Mahendra Prasad Yadav and Krishna Dev Singh were compounders while Jung Bahadur Yadav was a sweeper.

“I received information through RTI that the Secretary of Medical Education Department has demanded a report on the three officers from the FDA Commissioner,” said Tiwari.

In 2013, compounders Mahendra Prasad Yadav and Krishna Dev Singh and sweeper Jung Bahadur Yadav succeeded in getting registration with the Maharashtra Homeopathic Council (MHC) on the basis of a degree obtained from the Patna Medical College in Bihar.

“As per the RTI report, Mahendra Prasad Yadav and Krishna Dev Singh were found to be compounders and not doctors and also Jung Bahadur Yadav was shown as a sweeper. As per the RTI report, they were initially shielded by the three FDA officers Assistant Commissioner B R Masal, Inspector Pravin Pawar and Inspector V D Chaudhary who did not take necessary action against them,”said Tiwari.

On March 5, 2015, Tiwari again made a complaint against these three doctors to the Governor of Maharashtra. On March 7, the Governor of Maharashtra instructed the Medical Education Secretary to look into the matter.

On August 26, acting on Dr. Tiwari’s complaint, the Maharashtra Homeopathic Council cancelled the registration of 70 bogus doctors, including Mahendra Prasad Yadav, Krishna Dev Singh and Jung Bahadur Yadav.

On September 15, Dr. Tiwari also demaded suspension of B R Masal, Pravin Pawar and V D Chaudhary, claiming these officers had failed to perform their duty properly and also favoured bogus doctors during inquiry.

FDA Commissioner, Dr. Harshdeep Kamble was unavailable for comment. Several calls and text messages were unanswered.

LAWS FOR QUACKS:
The law, under the Maharashtra Medical Council Act clearly states that any doctor without being registered with the MMC and without renewal, is not allowed to practice modern medicine in Maharashtra. No person other than a doctor having qualification recognised by Medical Council of Indian and registered with Medical Council of India/ State Medical Council is allowed to practise modern system of medicine or surgery. There is no specific anti-quackery law in India at present. However, quackery is illegal in India in view of the following legislations:
· Section 15(2) read with Section 15(3) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, whereby imprisonment up to one year or fine upto Rs.1000 or both.
The word quack or quackery does not find a place in the Indian Penal Code. The only way to book a quack under IPC is Section 419 (Attempt of cheating), Section 420 (Cheating), Section 338 (Inject drugs causing damage to the body) and Section 471 (Keeping fake documents)

By Kainaz Choksey

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