A man from Gujarat’s Vadodara has been charged with impersonating an official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to threaten the top executive of a major eye hospital over a financial dispute.
Dr Adil Agarwal, the chief executive of Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, had won an arbitration battle – ordered by the high court – to receive Rs 16.43 crore from two Indore-based doctors who had allegedly cheated the hospital.
The accused and Vadodara resident, Mayank Tiwari, sent several messages to Dr Agarwal on behalf of the two doctors – Dr Pranay Kumar Singh and Dr Sonu Verma – to “settle the matter”.
“I made you a request to sort mutually and it’s up to you how you handle the matter,” the fake PMO official said in one of the messages to the CEO of Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.
In a complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the PMO said Mr Tiwari impersonated the Director of government advisory in the PMO and used the designation to threaten certain businesses. This designation and the person do not exist, the PMO said in the complaint.
Dr Agarwal said the hospital and the two Indore-based doctors, who ran Vinayak Netralaya, signed an arrangement in January 2020 to transfer the entire team of Vinayak Netralaya, including the two doctors, to Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital. Under the arrangement, the two doctors had also agreed to work at Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital. Dr Agarwal said the hospital paid Rs 16.43 crore to Dr Singh and Dr Verma as part of the arrangement.
The two doctors, however, started diverting patients coming to Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital in Indore to other eye doctors after taking the money and signing the arrangement, Dr Agarwal said.
Dr Singh and Dr Verma in collusion with other doctors who are not part of the Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital chain also started a competing hospital, ended the arrangement and refused to refund the money, Dr Agarwal alleged.
Subsequently, Dr Agarwal took the legal route and the high court ordered an arbitration, which in July 2022 passed an interim inunction in favour of Dr Aggarwal and ordered the two Indore-based doctors to deposit Rs 16.43 crore within four weeks. The arbitration order also said the two doctors cannot open any eye hospital till the matter with Dr Agarwal is settled.
The fake PMO official entered the scene after Dr Agarwal won the interim arbitration battle.
Dr Agarwal’s Health Care Ltd is supported by marquee investors, which has resulted in the company opening over 100 eye hospitals in India and Africa in a span of over six decades, the hospital said in a statement.