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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Man who produced 50,000 fake doctors

The 90-year-old conman was arrested at 80, but was back to old ways on release
It is never too late to start again — especially in crime. A 90- year- old man, undeterred by a jail sentence, has churned out fake medical degrees in near industrial quantities becoming, arguably, the single biggest operator of his kind in the country.
Medical authorities and the government have put Balwant Rai Arora under the scanner for allegedly producing at least 50,000 fake doctors in Delhi and the NCR over the last 15 years — since 1995, when he began his racket.
All these ‘degrees’ have been given by the so- called Delhi Medical College, a fake institute which he runs from his home in Vipin Garden in the Uttam Nagar area of west Delhi. The names of some ‘ degrees’ like the basics of allopathic medicine and surgery have been invented by him. The Medical Council of India ( MCI) does not recognise any degree by this name.


The number of ‘degrees’ given out by Arora’s fake institute so far is more than five times the number of MBBS degrees that four of Delhi’s top medical institutes would have given out in the same period. The All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS) has 50 MBBS seats, Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) has 250 MBBS seats, the University College of Medical Sciences ( UCMS) has 150 MBBS seats and Lady Hardinge Medical College ( LHMC) has 150 MBBS seats.
The astonishing revelation came after the Delhi Medical Council ( DMC) conducted raids on quacks in the national capital recently. It also proved that Arora had showed no inclination to slow down after being caught redhanded in 2000 and subsequently jailed for four years.
The DMC has now referred the case to the Delhi government and the Delhi Police to investigate.
Arora reportedly issued medical degrees of MBBS, Bachelor of Unani Medicine & Sciences ( BUMS), Bachelor of Dental Surgery ( BDS), Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery ( BAMS), Registered Medical Practitioner ( RMP) and MD, said Dr Anil Bansal, convenor of DMC’s anti quackery cell.
“We frequently conduct raids in different parts of Delhi to seal illegal clinics and curb the practice of quackery. After the raids we summoned the alleged doctors who claimed to have formal medical degrees to practice medicine in the city. We doubted them and called for verification of their degrees. At least 12 were carrying fake medical degrees issued by Balwant Rai Arora,” said Bansal.
Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said, “The crime is serious.
A complaint has been received.
This is a matter of investigation.
As soon as we find evidence, proper action will be taken immediately as per the law.” On his second coming, Arora’s urge to ramp up his racket seems to have increased. In 2000, when he was arrested, he would charge between ` 1,100 to ` 1,800 for each degree. That sum has grown manifold, according to the DMC. “ Arora sends touts to quacks as agents and sells them the BAMS degree ranging from Rs 8,000 to 25,000. But, he is open to bargaining as well. He is the vice chancellor as well as the controller of examination,” said Bansal.
Arora has been known to be brazen about his activities. Before his racket was busted in 2000, he would advertise his fake medical college and the degrees it offered in newspapers. DMC official Bansal said that when the council investigated the matter, Arora’s neighbours said that a few youngsters would come for tuitions.
At the Vipin Garden home, which Arora shares with his wife and children, there is little activity. Arora himself has no sense of wrongdoing.
“I give my students degrees for practising general medicine. There are no doctors in the rural areas so they need some persons to help them. We tell them how to give first aid to the patients. I am doing no crime. I have been doing this for years and I know I am benefiting people by doing this,” said Arora.
The single- storey house is old.

But, it stands out among other houses in the neighbourhood. His neighbours seem to be aware he runs a fake medical degree racket.
Arora had been initially sentenced to a seven- year jail term after his arrest by the Delhi Police in 2000 ( he had reportedly given out 40,000 ‘ degrees’ since 1995). On June 13, 2000, the police had seized blank fake degrees and a few other documents from his possession.
Arora was convicted for cheating and forgery in 2004, but was released in 2008. That was after he pleaded that his punishment be reduced in view of his age and the fact that he was a senior citizen.
“ Arora reportedly apologised in the court and said that he would become a responsible citizen. He was imprisoned for four years only keeping his old age in mind. But he has again started selling fake medical degrees. We assume that he might have sold another 10,000 degrees by now in these three years,” said Bansal of DMC. “ The matter is serious as the people he has issued degrees to are practicing fearlessly. We have written to the Delhi Police and the health secretary, Delhi government about the matter. He is now awarding a degree in basics of allopathic medicine and surgery of three years under the Sanatan Gurukul Ved Vishwavidyalaya, Patanjali Sahdevpur Road, Haridwar.
There is no such degree as per the Medical Council of India rules and the college is not recognised.
No person can practice with this degree,” said Dr Bansal. “ One Ram Ratan in Sultanpuri, Kavita Yadav with the name of Lucky clinic and her husband B S Yadav with the name of Shyama clinic in Kapashera area were practicing with these fake degrees. We convened a meeting on May 23 and June 9, 2011 where we found out that that eight more people were carrying these degrees,” he said.
Interestingly, Arora a resident of 76 Vipin Gardenin the national capital continues to print the certificate for a winner of “ Who is Who of the year 1998” by American Biographical Institute ( ABI) Inc. “ ABI sells medical degrees and awards in the US which is not acceptable in India,” said Bansal.
Old habits die hard... even at 90
The 90- year- old Balwant Rai Arora was arrested in 2000 in connection with a racket that sold fake medical degrees
He had sold more than 40,000 fake medical degrees by 2000
He was sentenced to a sevenyear jail term in 2004. He, then, pleaded with the court to cut his punishment short as he was a senior citizen and served a jail term for just four years
But as soon as he was released, he started his business again He reportedly charged Rs 1200 to Rs 10,000 to sell a degree
There are at least 2 lakh quacks in the country of which 50,000 was found in the Capital alone

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