Posted On Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 08:28:09 AM
The past few months has seen the State Government zealously sealing or confiscating ultra-sonography machines used for illegal sex determination tests and clamping down on doctors running private clinics with the facility.
The same State Government has rehabilitated the first doctor convicted under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, as a medical officer at a rural hospital in Shikrapur for the last six months.
• Members of the Janwadi Mahila Sanghatna agitate outside the Shikrapur rural hospital where Dr Nagane has serving on Monday
Dr Mohan Bandopant Nagane, then a radiologist working at Aundh Chest Hospital, was arrested in 2006, after being caught red-handed conducting illlegal sex determination tests at his clinic at Thergaon.
Acting on a complaint from the then chief medical officer of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), a pregnant woman and her mother-in-law were sent to his clinic as a decoy. It took over five years before a Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) court convicted him on December 15, last year.
It appears that the errant doctor’s practice was only mildly interrupted by the arrest and conviction. The state unit President of the Janawadi Mahila Sanghatana, Kiran Moghe, points out, “He was reinstated twice.” First, when the man was released on bail in 2007.
Then again, despite his conviction, he was accommodated this January. The health department has clearly turned a blind eye both to the first suspension notice issued by the Maharashtra Medical Council last December 17, and also the cancellation of his registration earlier this month.
When contacted, District Civil Surgeon Dr Vinayak More, said, “We have sent two proposals so far for terminating Dr Nagane from service but action may have been delayed due to a stay order he obtained from the Bombay High Court, where he has challenged the lower court’s conviction.”
However, Dr Archana Patil, joint director of the state health department, said there is no relation between the court’s stay order and the administrative action. “The offender’s services will be terminated within a week,” she quipped. When probed about why he was taken in at all after his arrest and conviction, and what is delaying his termination, she shrugged, “What answer should I give?”
Moghe has other suspicions. “It is not a co-incidence that the place he is presently serving in Shirur taluka has a low sex ratio of only 843 girls for every 1,000 boys,” she claims. On Monday, a group of women from the Janawadi Mahila Sanghatana agitated in front of the rural hospital at Shikrapur on the Pune-Nagar highway and demanded immediate action against the convicted doctor.
► Nagane was reinstated first, when released on bail in 2007 and again, despite his 2011 conviction, this January