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    Published On : Tue, Dec 22nd, 2020

    Respite To DR Gantawar Couple :HC Grants Pre Arrest Bail

    Gavel Court

    Representational Pic

    In a major respite to the doctor couple, working with Municipal Corporation as medical officers Dr Praveen Gantawar & his wife Dr Sheelu were granted anticipatory bail by the High Court.

    It may be recalled that the couple was booked by the Nagpur unit of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a disproportionate assets case.

    The erstwhile Municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe had promoted Dr Praveen Gantawar as deputy chief medical officer from the post of medical officer. In further development, the couple was suspended by the then mayor Sandip Joshi following a series of allegations. However, Mundhe refused to implement the mayor’s ruling and termed it illegal to suspend the doctor couple.

    In 2015, the ACB unit had received a complaint against the doctor couple for their alleged involvement in corruption.

    ACB sleuths launched an open inquiry. ACB sources said they carried out detailed investigations including that of their home, bank accounts and income from salary, movable and immovable properties, money received from sale of properties. Besides, they also scrutinized income tax documents, and checked offices at Indira Gandhi Rugnalaya (Gandhi Nagar), NMC health department, Government Medical College and Hospital.

    The team also procured information regarding their expenditure on children’s education and their shares in companies. The searches revealed the duo had amassed properties much higher than their known sources of income.

    The ACBclaimed that Dr Gantawar during his service with the NMC’s Indira Gandhi Rugnalay from 2007 to December 2015 had acquired assets worth Rs 2.52 crore more than his known sources of income. Preliminary investigation revealed Dr Gantawar and Dr Sheelu had property that was 43.06% more than their income.

    It was submitted that the applicants are in a position to account for every penny and that irrefutably they were and are engaged in private practice and are the only partners of Columbia Hospital. Senior counsel Avinash Gupta submitted that the calculation of the Anti-Corruption Bureau is flawed and that while the assets of the said hospital are considered, the loans from financial institutions deployed to create the assets, is ignored thereby making the entire case against the couple as misconceived. The High court upon considering the material granted anticipatory bail to the couple while restricting them from leaving the country apart from other conditions.
    The matter was conducted by noted criminal lawyer Senior Advocate Avinash Gupta assisted by Advocates P. Abhyankar & Aakash Gupta for the applicantsand the state was represented by Adv.Nitin Rode the additional public prosecutor.

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