Govt to chargesheet 5 docs for taking gifts

Srinagar: The Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department of Jammu and Kashmir government is framing a chargesheet within two weeks against five doctors for taking gifts and freebies from pharmaceutical companies to prescribe their medicines to patients.
This was disclosed by senior Additional Advocate General J A Kawoosa, representing the Department, before a division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court during hearing of a Public Interest Litigation seeking action against doctors to end gift taking menace by the medicos in the state.
Kawoosa also referred to an affidavit filed by Deputy Secretary H&ME Department, Dr Des Raj Bhagat, stating that a prima facia case has been found out against the doctors named at para-4 in the PIL filed by Naseer Ahmad Shah, Lateef Panjabi and Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah—all residents of Srinagar.
The petitioners claimed they have proof that the doctors received gifts and cash for prescribing medicines of a particular company.
Kawoosa, who made the statement regarding the chargesheet after receiving instructions from senior law officer of the department Altaf Ahmad, urged the court to grant two weeks time to do the needful.
While granting the time, the division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar directed the department to file status report along with the copy of chargehseet.
Earlier, during the course of hearing, counsel representing the erring doctors demanded why other doctors are spared even though they also take gifts.
“Name some of them,” the bench responded. However, the counsel deflected the query, submitting that Health Department “knows them.”
“A thief cannot argue that there is another thief and I should be let off. Can it happen?” the court responded.
The doctors identified in para-4 of the PIL include Firdous Ahmad Vaid, Fayaz Ahmad Peerzada, Abdul Ahad Wani, Javaid Ahmad Wani and Javaid Ahmad Zargar.
Following directions by the court, Secretary H&ME Department issued a circular (N0.14-HME of 2014) on January 23 last, prohibiting doctors practicing in the field of medicine from receiving freebies or gifts from the companies.