Surgeon 20101
Fake surgeon Om Pal was appointed on contract basis at a hospital after forging the MBBS degree of a Mysore University alumnus. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Fil

Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India: A man who worked as a surgeon at the community health centre (CHC) for more than 10 years was arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district, police said.

The accused, Om Pal, 50, claimed that he had conducted thousands of "operations" during his free run as a doctor, according to Saharanpur Superintendent Police (SP) Vidyasagar Misra.

Om Pal was appointed on contract basis in the CHC after forging the MBBS degree of a Mysore University’s alumnus Dr Rajesh R.

Om Pal was also running a nursing home in the Saharanpur district.

Extortion call

His true identity was revealed when he went to the police to lodge a complaint after getting an extortion call.

The police official said that Om Pal worked in early 2000s as a paramedic at the Air Force base hospital in Mangalore and even gets pension from there.

“A doctor named Rajesh R. was working with him in Mangalore. Before Dr Rajesh R. shifted abroad, Om Pal got his MBBS degree ‘cloned’ after fixing his own photograph. He used this fake degree to get himself registered as a medical practitioner in Uttar Pradesh,” the police official said.

On the basis of this degree, Om Pal not only got a surgeon’s job at CHC in Deoband, but also got himself several certificates and diplomas for surgery — two of them from the US.

The SP said that on the papers, he was Dr Rajesh R., but in prescriptions and hoardings he used ‘Dr Rajesh Sharma’, so that the unusual name does not arouse any suspicion at a small place like Deoband.

Om Pal’s dream run, however, came to an end when he himself went to seek police’s help after getting an extortion call.

How police unmasked surgeon

The caller was trying to blackmail him by demanding Rs 40 lakh ($56,418)  for remaining quiet about his real identity.

“But, Om Pal who was a well-known figure in Deoband was so confident about his infallibility that he refused to budge and informed police,” said the police official.

Interestingly, an inquiry regarding his degrees was conducted by the Health Department a couple of months ago.

Since he showed the certificate of his registration with the Medical Council of Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, it was assumed that his credentials were genuine.

The SP said that when the investigation team probing the extortion case went to Bengaluru to ascertain the authenticity of his medical degree and registration with the Council, his real identity came out.

The registration number that he claimed actually belonged to one Rajesh R. who was registered with the Karnataka Medical Council and had obtained his degree from a medical college in Mysore in 2001.

Om Pal even held a certificate of Diplomate of the National Board (DNB) in General Surgery whose registration number was not found in Uttar Pradesh Medical Council though he claimed that in the certificate.