New Delhi:The Delhi High Court has refused to grant pardon to a medico rusticated from Army College of Medical Sciences on charges of forgery of signatures and stamps to get himself a scholarship amount under the EWS scholarship scheme.
The medical student had been rusticated earlier for posing as a doctor, while he was still a student. It was during the period of this expulsion that he worked on the forgery.
It was while studying his petition for clemency that Justice V Kameshwar Rao decided that , “The offence, for which he was expelled, is not the first one. The earlier one of impersonation was an equally serious one. Regrettably, despite rustication, he did not mend his conduct. He indulged in a further more serious offence of forging the signature/stamps of an officer for monetary gain. This offence/ misconduct committed by the petitioner has to be looked not only from his perspective but from a larger perspective of the society which he would serve if he is allowed to go scot-free”.
Judge V. KAMESWAR RAO, J further said, “A medical officer has to be an epitome of trust, humility and sacrifice, always placing others before self. He has to demonstrate abilities to win over the confidence of those whom he serves.”
“As Mr… has repeatedly indulged in malpractices even before completing the initial phase of training in MBBS, it will not be prudent to take him back after expulsion purely on moral grounds. Given his background, it is fairly certain that he cannot be groomed into an ethical medical officer. Any leniency at this stage may be dangerous to the society at large in the future,” said the Bench, while quoting the DGMS observations during the course of rejecting the medico’s reconsideration request of the order of expulsion.
The petitioner according to records was granted admission in the Army College of Medical Sciences on August 25, 2008 which is affiliated to the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
During academic year 2010-2011, he applied for a scholarship under the EWS Scheme for Rs. 55,000 from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. The application after verification was forwarded along with the recommendations of the Dean on July 26, 2010.
When the forgery surfaced, the varsity on 1st May, 2012 requested the Army college to take strict action against the petitioner and recover the amount from him.
The investigation committee appointed by the college found the offender guilty of forging signatures, appointment stamp and round stamp of College on EWS Scheme Scholarship Form 2011-12 and receiving amount of Rs.55,000/- from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University by forgery and using forged Identity Card by forging signatures, appointment stamp and round stamp of College.
The Court was also informed that in 2011-12, the petitioner faced an expulsion from college for posing as a doctor and practicing medicine at a medical camp organized by him, where he presented himself as Dr. PK. Singh, although he had yet to receive his MBBS degree.
While under expulsion in 2011, he is reported to have worked on his forgery plan and executed it in the manner mentioned above to obtain the scholarship.
Though in his contention Mr. K.K. Rai, learned Sr.Counsel appearing for the petitioner pleaded that “the punishment is’ unconscionable’ totally annihilating the academic life of the petitioner as a Doctor and bringing to an end the dream of a marginal family to see its child in the robes of a Doctor.”Mr Rai reminded the court that “proportionality of punishment has always been looked into and reduced when warranted.”
Mr. Ankur Chibber, learned counsel appearing for college/university on the other hand submitted that ” in the given facts, the punishment of expulsion is in accordance with the Rules in as much as the penalty for breach of discipline would entail expulsion from University, College or Institution as the case may be in which case, he shall not be readmitted to the University / College or Institution from where he is expelled but it shall not preclude his admission to any other affiliated College or Institution with the previous approval of the Vice-Chancellor.” Thereby justifying the expulsion. The court on its part made the final noting as follows:
The plea that the petitioner cannot pursue any other career does not appeal to this Court. Had the charge been a different one and not as serious to the one committed by the petitioner possibly the Court could have taken a lenient and pragmatic view so as not to damage the career of a person.
The judgments as relied upon by Mr.K.K.Rai would not be applicable to the facts of this case primarily for the reason that the offence/misconduct committed in the cases referred to by Mr. Rai were with regard to ragging, cheating during examination which are totally different from the one committed by the petitioner in the case in hand. I do not find any merit in the only contention of Mr. Rai. The writ petition is dismissed.
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