A SECTOR 21 dentist accused by a patient of cheating her of Rs 7 lakh has alleged that CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana influenced Chandigarh Police to lodge a “false” case against him.
Dr Mohit Dhawan, a private practitioner, has made this allegation in his anticipatory bail application filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He has alleged that the patient, an NRI by the name of Gertrude D’Souza, was known to Asthana.
Dhawan, owner of Avance Dental Centre in Sector 21, was booked in March 2018 under charges of forgery, cheating, using fake documents. The dentist filed the bail application in the high court in April 2018, months before the present troubles in the CBI erupted. He was granted interim anticipatory bail.
The bail application is listed for next hearing for December 18.
When contacted, Asthana said he did not know about the case or the allegation against him.
“I am not aware of these things at all. Let the court decide. How can I make comment on an issue which is sub judice? Has he made me a party? Whatever you’re mentioning is not worth commenting.”
CNL corresponded with Asthana via text messages. He did not respond to a question asking him if he knew D’Souza.
According to the FIR registered at the Sector 19 police station, D’ Souza, who lives in the US, alleged that the crowns and abutments in her upper jaw fell off soon after Dhawan fitted them in August 2017. She had returned to the US by then. She had taken a dental tourism package for $10,500 (nearly Rs 7 lakh) that included implant procedure, five-star hotel accommodation, return airfare and sightseeing at Agra and Shimla.
The FIR alleged that after paying Rs 7 lakh through cheque to the doctor, she was assured by the manager at the clinic that the money would be refunded to her if she didn’t find the services satisfactory. On August 24, 2017, two days after she landed back in the US, the crowns and abutments that had been placed a day before her departure fell off. She contacted Dhawan who allegedly didn’t help her, saying he didn’t have Wi-Fi to connect with her from August 25 to 30. Thereafter, he allegedly stopped taking her calls.
The probe officer, Inspector Balwinder Singh, was not available for comment. Inspector Shaddi Lal, SHO of Sector 19 police station, said, “The FIR was registered on the basis of legal opinion. Accused doctor is not assisting the probe agency. We are not aware of his allegations against any CBI officer. He has filed a complaint with the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), and we are filing replies in the PCA on his complaint.”
A senior officer monitoring the probe against Dhawan said, “The FIR was registered on merit basis. The complainant may be known to someone but it does not affect the police investigation. Preliminary probe has established the offence on the part of Dr Mohit Dhawan and then an FIR was lodged. His anticipatory bail application pending in the high court is being opposed by the representative of Chandigarh Police.”
Dhawan was booked under sections 420 (cheating), 467, 468 and 471 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code.
Dhawan on Sunday alleged he was slapped by a head constable at the Sector 19 police station when he went to collect a receipt for a computer he had handed over to the police a few days ago.
DSP Pawan Kumar, who is in charge of SDPO, East division, said, “Dr Mohit Dhawan is trying to mislead the police investigation. Nobody slapped him. There are CCTV cameras installed at the police station. Anybody can check these cameras. A policeman merely stopped him from clicking the pictures of inside the police station.”
Dhawan told CNL that he was co-operating with the investigation on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. “Whenever the police call me, I go to the Sector 19 police station but only to discover that the investigating officer is not available,” he said.
On Sunday afternoon, Dhawan said he had clicked a photograph of the visitor’s book at the police station after entering his name in it. That is when a policeman in plainclothes slapped him, Dhawan aid.
The incident led to a public spat between him and the policemen. Dhawan said the police misbehaved with him because of his complaint against them to the Police Complaints Authority.
Dhawan also said he had filed a civil complaint in the civil court against D’Souza for non-payment of fees even before her complaint against him.
“She did not pay the full fees. In fact, I had already filed a complaint against her in the district court seeking recovery of my fees as her cheques had bounced. This was before she sent a complaint to the Chandigarh Police via email. She had simultaneously sent an online complaint to the CBI. Later, I came to know that she knew Rakesh Asthana. Chandigarh Police lodged a false case against me,” he claimed.