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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Bogus vaccine drives: BMC seals Shivam hospital, license revoked permanently

The hospital used to treat Covid-19 patients and was also an authorised vaccination centre till April.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala , Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
Updated: July 3, 2021 2:04:37 pm
Shivam Hospital owners Dr Shivraj Pataria and wife Neeta. (Express Photo)

Shivam hospital in Kandivali (West), whose name has cropped up in all the nine bogus vaccination drives held in the city, where saline water was administered to around 2,060 people, was sealed by BMC on Friday under the Bombay Nursing Home Registration Act. It’s license has also been permanently revoked.

The hospital used to treat Covid-19 patients and was also an authorised vaccination centre till April.

BMC Assistant Commissioner Sanjay Kurhade said they have received a letter from the police giving details of the involvement of the hospital owners in the vaccination scam.

As per Mumbai Police, the name of Shivam hospital — run by Dr Shivraj Pataria (61) and his wife Neeta Pataria (60), a pharmacist — have cropped up in all the nine bogus drives.

While the hospital was authorised by the government to administer vaccines till April 28, the nine bogus drives were conducted between May 25 to June 6 when it had no authority to hold vaccination camps.

The couple was arrested by the Kandivali police on June 24. They are said to be involved in providing fake vaccines used in the illegal camps, along with Dr Manish Tripathi (26), who ran a nursing institute on the premises of Shivam hospital.

“Due to the violations and cheating allegations, we have decided to permanently revoke the hospital’s license. The accused couple was using the hospital premises for illegal activity,” Kurhade said.

In April, when vaccination was restricted to only those aged over 45 years as well as healthcare and frontline workers, Shivam hospital carried out illegal drives in corporate offices and vaccinated people in the 18-44 age group by labelling them as frontline workers.

In a related development, the Samta Nagar police on Friday arrested Anurag Tripathi (25) in connection to illegal vaccination drives conducted on April 23, 24 and 28 for 618 people who work for four private companies. None of them received CoWin-generated certificates after getting the jabs.

“The court has remanded Tripathi in police custody till June 9. He worked as a data entry operator, collecting Aadhaar card details of people who came for vaccination,” said Aanandrao Haake, senior Inspector of Samta Nagar police station.

While a complaint was received by one of the four companies – Intercontinental Diamonds – the police did not lodge an FIR as the company too had failed to follow protocol. On June 30, an FIR was registered based on a complaint filed by a BMC doctor.

The other wanted accused in this case include Manish Tripathi, who ran a nursing institute at Shivam hospital, as well as his students Karim Akbar Ali and Roshni Patel. They were also allegedly involved in other bogus camps. The accused used the name of Shivam hospital to dupe people.

Meanwhile, the Turbhe police late Friday registered an FIR against an unauthorised vaccination drive, where 354 people from a private company based at Turbhe MIDC in Navi Mumbai were “vaccinated” in April.

In this drive, too, the name of Manish Tripathi has come up. With the registration of the FIR, Tripathi has now been booked in 12 related cases.

With this, 12 FIRs have been lodged in connection to fake vaccine drives held in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.

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