Mumbai: Securing MBBS admission via forged caste certificates is a misuse of the SC/ST Act and this tactic by the medicos continues to be a menace in Maharashtra, as is evident with yet another incident.
In a recently reported case, an FIR has been filed against nine medical students, who acquired MBBS admission under the reserved category at Annasaheb Chudaman Patil Memorial Medical College (ACPM Medical College) in Dhule district, allegedly by submitting bogus caste certificates.
As per the lodged FIR, the students are also accused of cheating the state government for availing MBBS course scholarship benefits, which are strictly restricted to the reserved category students, in accordance with the law.
These MBBS students do not belong to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) but they reportedly tendered forged caste certificates and gained admission at the medical college under the said quota.
Medical Dialogues earlier reported that this matter came to light when the Project Officer of an Integrated Tribal Development Project, Rajaram Halape, suspected that some of the MBBS students had submitted fabricated caste certificates in a bid to gain a seat at the medical college.
Taking action on the matter, he wrote to the ST Certificate Scrutiny Committee for the Nandurbar division asking it to confirm if the certificates were genuine. Accordingly, after thoroughly perusing the 30 certificates presented by the Officer to examine, the scrutiny committee stated that it had found some of the validity certificates had not been issued by the office.
Subsequent to this reply from the committee in the last week of August, the Project Officer sent a letter to the medical college asking it to recover the money from the students, which they spared after getting MBBS admission in SC/ST quota.
However, now, nine medical students have been found guilty by the concerned authorities.
According to a report by the Free Press Journal, these nine students usurped more than Rs 77 lakh for the MBBS admission, which is given to the ST students as scholarship by the Central government.
On the said suspicion that revealed the offence committed by the MBBS students, Halpe said, “I had doubts about some of the students seeing their surnames. We inquired about their certificate with the caste validity department, who informed us, these nine students have submitted fake caste certificates. Their surnames indicated they were not tribals.”
Speaking to The Free Press Journal, the Project Officer confirmed, “We have lodged the complaint with the police against these students under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on October 16.”
“Now that an FIR has been filed, the police will investigate the matter,” Halape told TOI adding that from now on, the department will take precautionary measures and will verify caste certificates from the scrutiny committee before sanctioning scholarships and finalizing admissions.