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Times of India
18 September 2010
By Jayashree Nandi
Bangalore, India

Lokayukta Nails B’lore Hosps For Issuing Fake Docus
Divya (name changed) claimed she was speech- and hearing-impaired, and even had a certificate to prove it. But when a Lokayukta health investigator whispered in her ear, "What’s your name?". She responded immediately: "Divya."

Don’t be too shocked. For, Divya is just one among many perfectly normal persons who’ve got themselves a certificate attesting to their disability. All they did was pay touts any amount between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000. The benefits are many:A monthly allowance of around Rs 1000, a bus/train pass,employment,identity card or even a telephone booth. Genuine certificates are issued free of cost by authorized hospitals.

Lokayukta investigators have unearthed a racket in which touts will help you get these certificates. Two NGOs dealing with disability–Angala Vikalara Jagruti Maha Samiti and Pragati Anga Vikalara Shema Abhivruddhi Sangha– lodged complaints with the Lokayukta office about discrepancies in issuing disability certificates. Subsequently, Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde entrusted doctors of Health Foundation to investigate. Investigators found material which indicated there was prima facie truth in the allegations and there were gross discrepancies while issuing certificates.

While there were discrepancies in certificates issued by several hospitals in the city, the disability board of a government hospital is particularly notorious for repeatedly violating guidelines. When Lokayukta investigators visited the board, instead of three experts who would issue certificates as stipulated in central government guidelines,nearly five doctors of different specialities were examining people.

These experts were paid a whopping Rs 800 per visit and they were not government employees but private practitioners.

Lokayukta investigators raided the board and after finding discrepancies, summoned 40 persons. who had been issued disability certificates. "Only 26 of them turned up. Many cases were found fault," a lokayukta investigator said.

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