A doctor, Utpal Patel, from Paldi, Gujarat has been sentenced to three years in jail for forging his Class XII marksheet to secure admission to the MBBS course 44 years ago.
As per the case details, Patel passed his Class XII board exams in 1980 with 398 out of 800 marks. But his score of 49% makes him ineligible for medical admission. After applying for re-checking of his marks, he got another marksheet.
Patel allegedly forged the marksheet to show that he had scored 547 marks, or 68%. Then he applied for MBBS admission and got a seat at BJ Medical College.
On the other hand, the Gujarat Secondary Education Board learned about Patel's marksheet and wrote to the college, saying there was no change in Patel's marks.
Patel had secured the seat based on a forged document after getting his hands on a blank letterhead and marksheet from the board's office. The college issued a notice to him asking him to show why his admission should not be cancelled.
Patel's marksheet was proved to have been forged in 1991, and the college lodged a complaint at Shahibaug police station. In 2014, the metropolitan court framed charges against Patel and put him on trial for cheating, forgery, and theft.
On Monday, additional chief metropolitan magistrate P. N. Naveen finally completed the trial and convicted Patel of cheating and forgery but acquitted him of theft. Patel's lawyer pleaded that he should not be sentenced to a jail term, seeking leniency and benefits under the Probation of Offenders Act. The lawyer said Patel is a medical practitioner and serves society by running a clinic in the city. The offense was committed when he was just 17 years old. Patel is now 60 and has a family.
Patel was sentenced to three years in jail and fined.
The prosecution demanded the maximum punishment permissible under the law, seven years, saying that if those associated with the medical profession behave in this manner, it will motivate others to commit similar offenses.
The court sentenced Patel to three years imprisonment and a Rs 30,000 fine, with the observation that Patel had been ineligible for medical admission but cornered someone else's MBBS seat using the forged marksheet.
As a result of this act, the court is obligated to ensure that similar crimes are not committed in the future. The court cancelled the doctor's bail bonds.
(Input from various sources)