June 11, 2020 2:08:20 am
The Enforcement Directorate has registered a case of money laundering against Gurgaon-based Medanta Hospital and its chairman Dr Naresh Trehan for alleged misuse of land allotted to Global Health Pvt Ltd, the company that runs the hospital. The ED case is based on an FIR registered by Haryana Police four days ago following a court order.
Trehan, a renowned cardiologist and recipient of the Padma Bhushan, said there are no fresh allegations. “The ED has taken up investigation after the FIR was filed in Gurgaon. There are no fresh allegations. The allegations made by the complainant do not hold any water. No chargesheet has been filed. The agencies are investigating the matter at present,” he said.
Medanta also denied the allegations saying the complainant in the case, Raman Sharma, is an “extortionist” masquerading as an RTI activist. It also expressed shock that it is being targeted at a time when its doctors and infrastructure are engaged in fighting Covid.
The case pertains to allotment of land to Global Health in 2004. It is alleged in the Haryana Police FIR that the land was allotted for development of a medical college, research centre, nursing staff quarters and guesthouse for patients but only a hospital was erected.
“The complaint had first come to us in June, 2019. But since we cannot register a case without a predicate offence being registered by police or CBI, we sent the complaint to the Haryana government” an ED official said.
In a statement issued following Haryana police FIR, Medanta had said, “An individual, Raman Sharma, claiming to be an RTI activist, but as reported by the media, has been accused of extortion, has made completely false and baseless allegations against our Chairman and others.”
The hospital claimed that Sharma had previously filed two cases in Delhi with same allegations in Patiala House Court and in the Delhi High Court but both were rejected on the grounds that the allegations were “vague, unspecific and not even a single incident with sufficient detail has been mentioned in the entire complaint”.
In a statement, Trehan denied the allegations that pertain to the plot allotted 16 years ago to build the hospital. “Everything about this land allotment, which was done through a public auction, is absolutely legal. The allegations in the complaint are nothing short of absurd. We have built one of the finest hospitals in this part of the world, and we are proud of the work we do,” he said, accusing the complainant of harassment.
The hospital, in its statement, had further said: “We are in the midst of a global pandemic. Many of our doctors, including our Chairman, despite being over 65 years of age, continue to tend to their patients selflessly, in the face of this pandemic, putting themselves at risk every day to serve others. We are pained that in the midst of the courage they demonstrate every day, they are forced to address completely malicious and false allegations.”
“Extortionists have found a fertile breeding ground, while claiming to be RTI activists… The fact that the allegations in his complaint pertain to the 16-year-old land allotment on which the hospital is built demonstrates this. We pride ourselves in strong principles of governance and financial transparency. The allegations in the complaint are nothing short of absurd,” it added.
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