Allahabad High Court: While expressing that medical and legal fields are more a service than a profession especially the stream of oncology which deals with life and death, Krishan Pahal, J., held that “Corruption is a termite in every system.”
High Court also observed that, the offence of Corruption is against the society and Court has to balance the fundamental rights of the accused to the legitimate concerns of the society at large vis-a-vis the investigating agency.
On the basis of a complaint by Anmol Sachan, PI/CBI/ACB/Lucknow against Dr Sunita Gupta and her husband Dr Rajeev Gupta, the present case was registered under Section 109 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(e) of the P.C. Act, 1988.
What was alleged in the complaint?
It was alleged that Dr Sunita was in possession of disproportionate assets to her known sources of income to the tune of Rs 1,80,96,585.33 which she cannot satisfactorily account for. The husband of doctor Sunita also abetted the possession of assets disproportionate to known sources of income by Dr Sunita Gupta.
CBI team had found and seized the currency notes amounting to Rs 1.59 crore from official residence of Dr Sunita Gupta.
The applicant or any other person (Doctors/Hospital Owners) summoned/examined during the investigation could not produce any valid documentary evidence in support of their statement or explanation offered by applicant that the total amount of Rs 1.59 crore seized from the official residence of Dr Sunita Gupta on 12/07/2016 was actually earned by applicant by indulging in private practice, after office hours.
Analysis, Law and Decision
Bench stated that applicant’s counsel failed to accord any tenable explanation for the recovered amount and further argued that the applicant was not authorized to take private practice as he was employed in a government institution.
Supreme Court’s decision in Sushila Aggarwal v. State (NCT of Delhi), (2020) 5 SCC 1 was cited by this Court.
Medical practitioner administer an oath at the time of convocation as provided by the Indian Medical Association which is an extension of Hippocratic oath taken the world over. The oath is not merely a formality. It has to be observed and followed in letter and spirit. It is on these lines that the apex medical education regulator, National Medical Commission has suggested that the Hippocratic oath be replaced by ‘CHARAK SHAPATH’ during the convocation ceremony for graduates in medical services.
High Court expressed that,
Corruption is a termite in every system. Once it enters the system, it goes on increasing.
Elaborating further on corruption, the Bench added that it is the root cause of all the problems, such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, social unrest. The menace has to be put to account.
Lastly, the Court stated that it has to ensure that there is no unwarranted misuse or abuse of process to encroach upon the life and liberty of the applicant as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Also, the Court has to see that the Rule of Law is followed and the administration of justice is not hampered, the guilty are brought to book.
In view of the above anticipatory bail application was dismissed. [Dr Rajeev Gupta v. State of U.P., 2022 SCC OnLine All 155, decided on 25-2-2022]
Advocates before the Court:
Counsel for Applicant: – Purnendu Chakravarty
Counsel for Opposite Party:- Anurag Kumar Singh