As part of its continued efforts to combat corruption in the state, the Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) nabbed Nirbhay Singh of Galib village, who identified himself as a press reporter, red-handed for accepting a bribe of Rs one lakh from a doctor.
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson for the state VB said that Dr. Deepak Goel, serving as the Medical Officer (Orthopaedics) at Civil Hospital Jagraon, had recorded his statement at the VB range office in Ludhiana.He alleged that three individuals had been attempting to blackmail him regarding the medical treatment of a patient named Baljinder Singh, a resident of Kaunke Colony in Jagraon.
Dr. Goel further explained that on June 29, 2023, Baljinder Singh was admitted to Civil Hospital Jagraon due to his leg injuries. The following day, the doctor examined him and recommended an X-ray. However, Baljinder Singh chose to leave the hospital against medical advice (LAMA).
The complaining doctor revealed that Baljinder Singh subsequently admitted himself to a private hospital called Bhivaan in the town. In response, Baljinder Singh filed a complaint against Dr. Goel to the SMO Ludhiana, alleging that he had not received proper treatment at Civil Hospital Jagraon and had been intentionally referred to a private hospital owned by the doctor's relatives.
The spokesperson Informed that on September 5, 2023, Nirbhey Singh from Galib village and Manjit Singh from Leelan village in Ludhiana district approached the complaining doctor, identifying themselves as press reporters.
Nirbhey Singh informed the doctor that Baljinder Singh had not received appropriate care at Civil Hospital and had been deliberately sent to a private hospital. They claimed to have connections with the SMO Ludhiana and assured the doctor that they could resolve the complaint with a bribe of Rs 1,40,000, failing which they threatened to implicate him in the case.
He further informed that under duress, Nirbhey Singh took Rs 20,000 as a bribe from the doctor. Subsequently, on Thursday, the doctor has to provide an additional Rs one lakh to the said reporter. Unwilling to comply, he recorded an audio conversation with the accused, capturing their demand for the money.
In response to these events, an FIR No. 23, dated 21-09-2023, has been registered at VB range Ludhiana under section 7-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against Baljinder Singh, Nirbhey Singh, and Manjit Singh.
The spokesperson further added that a trap was subsequently set, leading to the red-handed arrest of Nirbhay Singh, who had falsely claimed to be a press reporter, while accepting a bribe of Rs one lakh from complainant doctor Goel in the presence of two official witnesses.
The spokesperson further said that the accused would be presented in the competent court tomorrow. Ongoing efforts are underway to apprehend the remaining accused, and the investigation into this case under progress.