Vigilance Bureau apprehends four members of PNDT team taking Rs 70,000 bribe

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Vigilance Bureau apprehends four members of PNDT team taking Rs 70,000 bribe

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) in a significant development, has arrested four individuals comprising a joint Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) team from Haryana and Punjab red-handed during a sting operation while taking a bribe of Rs 70,000. These suspects along with other officials and private persons have formed an inter-state nexus to take bribes for illegal ultrasound sex determination tests from various clinics running in Punjab and Haryana in connivance with each other.

Disclosing this here today an official spokesperson of the state VB said the arrested individuals have been identified as Deepak Goyal, son of Chaman Lal, posted as Pharmacist, at Civil Hospital, Sirsa, Gurjit Singh, son of Hamir Singh, posted as District Coordinator for PNDT, Civil Surgeon, Barnala, Raj Singh, son of Gurtej Singh, posted as Peon at Civil Surgeon’s office, Bathinda, and Surinder Singh, son of Ram Kumar, Driver at Civil Surgeon’s office, Sirsa.

Giving more details he added that the PCPNDT Act, commonly known as the PNDT Act, aims to prevent female foeticide by prohibiting prenatal sex determination tests. It also regulates diagnostic techniques to ensure equal opportunities for both sexes.

He further informed that Dr. Ashok Kumar, a seasoned clinician with three decades of practice in Patran, district Patiala, has approached the VB and informed that in 2020 he faced charges under the PNDT Act following a joint investigation by local doctors from Punjab and the PNDT incharge in Sirsa, Haryana. However, the subsequent raid on his clinic, Mahavir Hospital, in March 2024 yielded no incriminating evidence, leading to an inconclusive outcome.

The spokesperson added that the complainant doctor further alleged that Surender Behniwal, who claims to be deployed at PNDT Sirsa, allegedly contacted said Dr. Ashok Kumar via WhatsApp and demanded a bribe of Rs 70,000 in exchange for turning a blind eye to illegal ultrasound sex determination practices at the clinic. Shockingly, audio recordings of Beniwal’s explicit demands are on record, implicating not only him but also Dr. Bharat Bhushan, Incharge PNDT Sirsa, Dr. Aulakh from Ludhiana and Dr. SJ Singh.

He further revealed that acting swiftly, the VB flying squad-1, Punjab at Mohali registered an FIR against Surender Behniwal and laid a trap. Meanwhile a joint team of doctors from Punjab and Haryana were on a discreet operation with a decoy woman patient to nab the culprit doctors conducting prenatal sex determination tests having an amount of Rs 40,000. The aforementioned accused team reached at a private food point in Patran, in Patiala district to collect the bribe money from decoy woman but the VB team swiftly caught the above said four members of the PNDT team on the spot accepting the bribe of Rs 70,000 from the complainant doctor Ashok in the presence of said joint team members besides recovered Rs 40,000 which were to be given to doctors by the decoy woman. He added that further investigation into this case was under progress and the roles of other doctors involved in this racket would also be probed.

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