No bail hope for 6 months for Beed Doctor : Supreme Court


Clara Lewis, TNN Nov 14, 2012 MUMBAI: Taking a strong view on sex selection , the Supreme Court recently not only rejected the bail application of Dr Sudam Munde, accused of killing many female foetuses in Beed, but also directed that he apply for bail only after six months. In one of the cases, Munde and his wife Dr Saraswati Munde are accused of causing the death of a woman while carrying out an illegal abortion of a 24-week foetus at their Beed hospital this May.

The couple was arrested nearly three weeks later when the incident came to light.The SC on November 1 rejected Munde’s bail plea. Saraswati Munde has, however, been allowed bail subject to the satisfaction of the trial court. Parli in Beed district is infamous for female foeticide and families, not just from Maharashtra, but also from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka flock here to carry out sex-determination tests and illegal abortions.

Beed in the backward Marathwada region has also one of the worst child sex ratios in the 0-6 age group. According to the 2011 census, the ratio is a dismal 801 girls for every 1,000 boys. In 2001, it was 894 girls to 1,000 boys. This is not the first case registered against the Mundes, who are accused of running a highly sophisticated abortion racket and feeding the foetuses to hunter dogs on their farms.

 

Dr Gauri Rathod, civil surgeon, Beed government hospital, who has been at the forefront of the drive against sex selection  in the district said there were two more cases filed against Dr Munde under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prevention of Sex Selection) (PCPNDT) Act. In 2010, Satara-based social activist Varsha Deshpande had carried out a sting operation at the Mundes’ hospital that allegedly exposed illegal sex determination tests being conducted there. A case was registered against them but they were granted bail in 2011 on the condition that henceforth they would not conduct sex-determination tests . However, in May this year, the doctors allegedly carried out the abortion of a sugarcane worker Vijaymala Patekar, who was in the second trimester of pregnancy, at their hospital in Parli, which resulted in her death. Following this, district civil surgeon Gauri Rathod had appealed at the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court to cancel the couple’s bail as they breached the law again. The high court then cancelled their bail and ordered a non-bailable warrant against them, but Parli police did not issue it. The court also issued a show cause notice to the inspector of Parli police station asking why the warrant was not issued earlier against the doctors.

 

Beed Doctor duo slapped with culpable homicide – Illegal abortion case


, TNN | Jun 19, 2012,

MUMBAI: A day after Beed doctors—Sudam Munde and his wife Saraswati—surrendered before the Parli police, the state government is contemplating hiring Ujjwal Nikamas the public prosecutor to argue the state’s case against the couple.The Parli magistrate court on Monday sent the doctor couple, accused of conducting illegal abortions, to police custody till June 30.

The police have booked the couple for culpable homicide under section 304 of the IPC. However, the health department has asked the police department to also add the charge of death due to negligence under section 304 (A) of the IPC against the couple.

On Monday, public health minister Suresh Shetty met principal secretary (law) Vijay Achaliya, health secretary Bhushan Gagrani and family welfare commissioner Vikas Gharge. The meeting was held to build a strong case against the couple. According to health department officials, hiring a top lawyer for the case was discussed at the meeting. “Ujjwal Nikam is one of the names being considered by the department. Also, appointing a senior lady police officer to conduct further investigations was discussed,” an official said.

Senior NCP leader and PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal too has demanded slapping of stringent sections against the Munde couple.

Spelling more trouble for the Mundes and those who helped them, the health ministry has decided to also ask the police to find out who sheltered the couple, who were on the run for the last one month. “Cops should take the driver, who brought the couple to the police station, into custody and find out where all the doctors visited over the last three weeks,” a senior Mantralaya official said. “The government has also decided to club all cases against Munde to prepare a stronger case,” the official added.

Beed Doctor couple surrenders- Illegal abortions


Travelled to seven states and changed 20 sim cards while on run

Published: Sunday, Jun 17, 2012, 21:23 IST | Updated: Monday, Jun 18, 2012, 0:24 IST
Place: Beed | Agency: PTI and TNN

Late on Sunday evening, the doctor couple involved in the illegal abortions taking place in Beed district surrendered to the Parli police, after being on the run for close to a month. Dr Sudam Munde and his wife Saraswati, infamous for running Munde Hospital at Parli taluka in Beed, which performed rampant illegal abortions, allegedly used to send pregnant women to a Jalgaon doctor to determine the gender of the unborn child, before aborting it.

“Dr Sudam Munde and his wife Dr Saraswati booked under section 304 of IPC for culpable homicide surrendered before the Parli city police at around 9 PM,” police inspector Ramrao Gadekar of Parli City police station said.

Earlier in the day, police searched the house of the doctor couple at Parli, sources said.

The couple is accused of carrying out abortion on sugarcane worker Vijaymala Patekar, who was in her second trimester, at their hospital in Parli on May 18, which resulted in her death.

On May 19, the couple had secured bail from Parli court, and went into hiding from May 23, they said.

The bail was subsequently cancelled by the sessions court in Ambejogai on May 26 on petition of the Beed district health department in a 2010 case under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act.

Varsha Deshpande of NGO Lekladki Abhiyan had through a sting operation exposed that sex-determination tests were being conducted at Munde’s hospital in 2010, following which the doctors had been booked under the PCPNDT Act.

The Parli court on June 3 declared the couple “absconding”.

The duo then moved the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court for relief which upheld the local court order on June 15.

Dr Gauri Rathod, Beed official fights to save girl child


LONE RANGER: Despite regular threatening calls and letters, civil surgeon Dr Gauri Rathod continues her crusade against  sex selection

, TNN | Jun 9, 2012

BEED: The local authorities in Beed have drawn battle lines with the medical community here over the issue of sex selection . And leading the administration’s assault is civil surgeon Dr Gauri Rathod, who, despite threats, political pressure and little support from the community, has vowed to wipe out the scourge from the area.

The 45-year-old doctor took charge in the district, which has the lowest child sex ratio in Maharashtra, about 11 months ago. She was at first reluctant to accept the posting and refrained from joining for about two weeks. But news reports of female feotuses being found at Parli taluka in Beed in 2011 made Rathod change her mind.

She explains that, over the years, Beed has become something akin to a tertiary centre for killing female foetuses. “Everything here was synchronized. The arrangement has clearly evolved over the years,” says the mother of 12-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.

When local lawyers showed reluctance in following her lead, Rathod hired a lawyer from Mumbai at her own expense and got conviction in a PCPNDT violation case last year. She says that she takes every precaution to see that no innocent doctors is harassed. Rathod, who also holds a management degree from the Tata Institute of Social Science, says many government officials are unwilling to work in Beed. “There is an opium mafia, sand mafia and not to mention local goons, who anyone can hire.” For her, threatening calls and letters have become a regular occurrence.

On Wednesday, she filed a complaint with the police over a threat from Dr Srihari Lahane, who has been arrested for allegedly conducting illegal abortions. She recollects an incident that took place a few days after she got uniforms sanctioned for staffers at the civil hospital last year. “I got a letter which said that I may be distributing clothes but I will soon have to think about ‘kafan’ for my children. I broke down, but my staffers stood by me and made me file a police complaint.”

There have been other attempts to derail her crusade.

Malicious doctors, she says, tried disposing of “foetuses in the dustbins of civil hospital”. Besides this, “umpteen RTI pleas have been filed and continue to be filed asking for information about my education, work experience, ultrasonography cases in civil hospital, etc. almost every alternate day. They just keep looking for loopholes”. Rathod recently gave up her financial powers so that allegations of misappropriation cannot be cast against her.

Still, despite her efforts, Rathod feels the government is fighting a losing battle. “Our enemy here is not a handful doctors but the community that refuses to accept the girl child. The irony is that corporators from a political party announced a hunger strike against me for harassing doctors. What is worse is that these are female corporators.”

Hospital of horrors has beds in every corner


Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Mumbai: The look of the four-storeyed Munde hospital at Parli taluka in Beed may give away little about the horrors that were unfolding inside. Virtually called a den for ‘killing’ baby girls by locals, officials said the fact that the 114-bed ‘maternity’ hospital had only two cribs spoke a million words.
A recent report by civil surgeon Dr Gauri Rathod to the public health department stated how the hospital had sections, sub-sections and beds squeezed in every corner. Beed collector Sadanand Koche told TOI that as per official records, the hospital had 14 beds. But, there were beds in the corridor, under staircases and even in the tiny space between his residence and the hospital building. Police inspector Ramrao Gadekar said rooms in his residential building had cots where patients used to stay.
The report spoke about how hospital owner Dr Sudam Munde developed ways of shielding his work. In violation of the code of conduct, he had a huge stock of printed prescriptions with names of same medicines on hundreds of them. “He used codes that only he and the pharmacist would understand. Most prescriptions had names of routine drugs used for cold or fever printed on them,” said Dr Rathod.
The report highlighted how biomedical waste at the hospital used to be dumped in buckets and not plastic bags of different colours.
Parli’s locals said Munde’s hospital was known for illegal abortions. “People used to come from even neighbouring Gujarat and Karnataka,” said Rathod. Officials did not find a sonography machine at the hospital, but detected a portable machine, which he tried to hide when the police searched the place.
In 2010, he was caught in a sting operation talking  about how he performed illegal abortions. Last year, the foetus of a girl child was found in a plot owned by Munde. Soon after, 14 sonography centres were sealed. Varsha Deshpande of Lek Ladki Abhiyan said every time Munde was in the spotlight, he increased his fees for the abortions. Munde, who used to charge Rs 500, increased it to Rs 5,000. After last year’s episode, he increased it to Rs 30,000.
The Parli court issued orders for Munde to surrender before July 3 or his property will be sealed. The Beed police sent letters to over 70 doctors, radiologists and gynecologists that they would be held responsible for sex determination on their premises.

Our family never longed for male child- Really ?


TOI Speaks To Neelabai Patekar, Mother-In-Law Of Vijaymala, Whose Death Exposed Illegal Abortions In Beed

Sumitra Deb Roy | TNN

Vijaymala Patekar (23), whose death while undergoing termination of pregnancy exposed the thriving market of illegal abortions in Beed district, was pregnant for the sixth time. Local health reports showed she had aborted a child two years back but this time she was not as ‘lucky’.
Her daughters Rohini (11), Tejaswini (10), Rutuja (9) and Rama (2) are staring at a bleak future now. With their mother gone and father in jail for pushing their mother to abort the foetus, the girls are all but “orphaned”. Vijaymala’s death took place at Munde hospital in Parli.
When TOI visited the Patekars on Wednesday at their village Bhopa, around 100 km from Beed town, the family looked dazed about the turn of events and refused to acknowledge that she had aborted another child in 2009. Reports said she had attempted two abortions before.
This was confirmed by reports maintained by the local anganwadi.
“She had stopped coming to the anganwadi for her quota of food after her fourth month of pregnancy. This was in April 2009, when she would not even turn up for vaccination. When we asked her about this, she said she had a miscarriage. Most women say that after they get an abortion done, but it would be unfair to blame them,” said anganwadi sevika Ranerasha Vitthal Rao, who has been running the anganwadi
in the area since 1994.
Vijaymala’s mother-in-law Neelabai (67) showed discomfort when asked about the abortion that killed her daughter-in-law. “We know nothing about it. My son and his wife left for the hospital on the morning of May 18 for a ‘check-up’ for backache. We then got a call from my son saying she was no more,” she said.
Neelabai said the family never longed for a male child.
“We are happy with our girls. Of course, we have no avenues to raise these children,” she said.
Vijaymala and husband Mahadev used to migrate to Karnataka for sugarcane cutting for six months every year and got a measly amount of Rs 25,000-30,000. Mahadev’s parents, both above 65, said they did not have resources to fight for their son’s release. The Parli police complained how the Patekars have not lodged any complaint against Dr Sudam Munde.
DOCTOR’S REGISTRATION
CANCELLED OVER TESTS
June 5: Teams of government officials and police, while conducting raid on hospitals, find Dr Madhav Sanap of Bhagwan hospital carrying out sex selection tests
Sanap’s registration cancelled for five years by Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) six months ago as he was illegally running it under the name of his anesthetist, Dr A Dahiphalkar
Both doctors absconding
FOCUS ON BEED
Three incidents in Beed and one of its talukas, Parli, have highlighted the flourishing industry of illegal abortions and female foeticide DOC COUPLE GETS COURT NOTICE
May 18: Vijaymala Patekar (22) dies of bleeding while undergoing illegal abortion in sixth month of gestation at Munde hospital
Dr Sudam Munde and doctor wife Saraswati claim patient died of excessive bleeding but absconded after details of female infanticide surface
Police investigations reveal 40 bank accounts, 120 acres of land and deposits of over Rs 1 crore
Parli court issues notice directing doctor couple to surrender before July 3 or else property will be sealed 2 BOOKED FOR DUMPING FOETUSES
June 3: Two female foetuses found in dry basin of Bindusara river Administration and cops trace back foetuses to Sanap hospital run by Dr Shivaji Sanap
Police say foetuses belonged to unmarried girl from Pune and married woman from Georai tehsil. Both abortions illegal as they were performed beyond five months
Mangal Masu Dhighe (29) and Manisha Vilas Javle (28), ayahs at Dr Sanap’s hospital, booked for dumping foetuses
Police find another unmarried girl in hospital whose foetus was also aborted at Sanap hospital
Aborted female foetus taken to Kakad-Hira village of Patoda tehsil by the girl’s parents. Police recover foetus and bring it for post-mortem
Dr Sanap remanded to police custody till June 12.
Police arrest father-inlaw Dr Srihari Lahane on June 6 (With inputs from Atul Kulkarni)


The reports coming from Beed indicate a strong nexus between the sex determinationabortion industry and the administration. The Mundes’ hospital seems to have fed on this nexus and prospered. How else does one explain the administration not knowing what seems to have been common knowledge in the entire belt? And how else does one explain the doctors’ burgeoning practice despite being under the scanner? The state and local administration appear to be equal partners in this crime with the doctors.

Show-cause notices sent to 6 chemists, wholesaler in Beed


, TNN | Jun 6, 2012, 05.46AM IST

 

PUNE: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials on Tuesday took action against six medical stores and a drug wholesaler in Beed for not maintaining sale records of abortion pills and injectibles. Most of the erring medical stores were either located within a maternity hospital or were catering to nearby hospitals, officials said. Show-cause notices were issued to the six medical stores and an FIR was lodged against the wholesaler for hiding sale details of second trimester abortion-inducing drug vecredil.

“Since June 3, we have conducted surprise raids at 23 medical stores in Beed and adjoining talukas, including Parli. During inspection, we took stock of abortion medicines and injectibles sold, and assessed the sale recorded of these drugs. Upon scrutiny, we found six medical stores at fault for not maintaining proper sale records of these drugs. Besides, a wholesaler was also found hiding sale details of abortion drug vecredil,” S S Mohite, assistant commissioner (drugs), Thane, told TOI on Tuesday. Mohite is in-charge of the inspection drive in Beed.

The sale records of abortion drugs in all its forms and types were inspected during the drive. “Records of abortion drugs like misoprostol, MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) pill, stytolog and vecredil, among others, were checked during the inspection drive,” Mohite said

Misoprostol is a combination of two types of abortion-inducing drugs – mifeproston and misoprostol. “It is used as first- and second-trimester abortion-inducing drugs. Sytolog is another combination of mifeproston and misoprostol. Vecredil is a second-trimester abortion-inducing drug. All these drugs are marketed by companies under different brand names,” said senior gynaecologist Charuchandra Joshi, former president of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society, Pune branch.

“Most of the medical stores that were found to be at fault were located within the premises of private hospitals having maternity wards. We issued them show-cause notices under Rule 65 of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940,” Mohite said.

Of the six medical stores that were issued show-cause notices, two were from Parli. “Of the two medical stores in Parli, one was located within the premises of a maternity hospital and one was catering to hospitals nearby,” he added.

Besides Beed and Parli, officials also raided medical stores in talukas in Beed district like Madalgaon, Kej, Ghevrai and Shirur. As many as 12 drugs inspector conducted the checks, Mohite said.

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