Published On : Tue, Feb 23rd, 2021

Fraud at Meditrina Hospital: EoW summons Director Dr Paltewar for probe

Nagpur: The Economic Offences Wing (EoW ) of Crime Branch has summoned Dr Sameer Narayan Paltewar, Director of Meditrina Institute of Health Sciences, Ramdaspeth, for investigation after he was booked in a fresh case of misappropriations of hospital funds to the tune of Rs 5,36,415.

Meanwhile, sources said that cops allegedly alerted the Income Tax Department as the financial embezzlement could be around Rs 20-30 crore. Ganesh Ramchandra Chakkarwar (61), another Director of VRG Healthcare Private Limited which runs Meditrina Institute of Health Sciences, who is also a prominent tax consultant, had lodged a complaint on Friday that Dr Paltewar admitted patients for treatment in the hospital between April 1, 2019 and February 19, 2021.

He alleged that Dr Paltewar had taken money from patients and issued them receipts. Later, Dr Paltewar showed less billing amount in the hospital software and embezzled Rs 5,36,417, he added.

Chakkarwar told police that a bill of Rs 2.86 lakh was recovered from a patient from Bhandara district by Dr Paltewar but on hospital records only Rs 73,600 was shown. Another patient from Ramtek was charged Rs 3,62,880 but showed only Rs 1,37,880 on records. Similarly, a patient from Bhadrawati had paid Rs 2,99,693 but only Rs 2,00,693 was recorded.

Chakkarwar alleged that Dr Paltewar and his accomplices not only cheated the hospital but also the patients by manipulating the records. Sitabuldi Police, on the basis of Chakkarwar’s complaint, had registered an offence under Sections 406, 409, 420, 465, 467, 468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code, read with Section 65 (C) of Information Technology Act, against Paltewar.

It is learnt that Chakkarwar holds 33% shares in VRG Healthcare Private Limited which runs the hospital. Remaining shares are of Dr Sameer Paltewar and Sonali Paltewar. Dr Paltewar was also booked in 2019 following alleged fraud in Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana (MJPJAY).

Subsequently, the government had black-listed Meditrina Hospital from the panel of MJPJAY. MLA Vikas Thakre had demanded for a detailed inquiry by the government and registration of an FIR in the MJPJAY case. The issue was also raised in the state legislature. Thakre had also demanded Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to cancel the hospital registration.

Later, the NMC had constituted a committee to conduct an inquiry into the matter. However, the committee is yet to come out with its findings. Sitabuldi Police then had registered an offence against Dr Paltewar under sections 420, 406, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120(B) and 34 of Indian Penal Code for allegedly committing fraud and embezzlement of crores of rupees by illegally availing benefits of the government schemes.

In January this year, Sessions Court had turned down Dr Paltewar’s anticipatory bail plea. Dr Paltewar then moved the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court which granted him an ad-interim bail and adjourned the hearing till February 27.

Senior Inspector Umesh Besarkar, who is the Investigating Officer, said that it was a fresh case of criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and tampering with computerised documents registered against Dr Paltewar. “ We are investigating the case from all possible angles,” he added.