June 10, 2020 6:39:01 pm
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. Medanta has denied the allegations saying the complainant in the case, Raman Sharma, is an “extortionist” masquerading as an RTI activist. It has also expressed shock that it is being targeted at time when its doctors and infrastructure are engaged in fighting Covid-19.
Trehan is a renowned cardiologist and recipient of the Padma Bhushan award. The case pertains to allotment of land to Global Health in 2004. The Haryana police FIR has alleged that the land was allotted for the 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. Now that the local police has registered a case, we have booked the hospital and its chairman among 15 accused under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” an ED official said.
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According to sources, initially the Haryana government did not take cognisance of the complaint but Sharma knocked the doors of a district court which issued orders for registration of an FIR.
In a statement 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 the allegations were “vague, unspecific and not even a single incident with sufficient detail has been mentioned in the entire complaint.”
“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,” Medanta 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,” it added.
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