Enforcement Directorate files money laundering case in Medanta hospital land allotment case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering case against a healthcare firm promoted by renowned cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan and others in connection with alleged irregularities in the allotment of land for the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, officials said on Wednesday.

The central probe agency has registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after going through a June 6 FIR of the Gurgaon police that has been filed against Global Health Private Ltd and others.

The 73-year-old Trehan is the co-founder of the super speciality Medanta hospital and also the CMD of Medanta Heart Institute. He is one of the directors of Global Health Private Ltd.

The ED has named all the accused as stated in the police complaint, the officials said.

The police First Information Report (FIR) at the Sadar police station of Gurgaon was filed on the directions of the additional sessions court in Gurgaon on the basis of a complaint by a local resident, named Raman Sharma.

Sharma has alleged irregularities in the 53-acre land allotment for ‘Medicity’ in Sector 38, for which locals were evicted in 2004, the police FIR had said.

Trehan, in a statement, said Sharma is a “known extortionist masquerading as an RTI activist” and has made completely false and baseless allegations.

He said Sharma did not disclose to the Gurgaon court that these allegations had been fully investigated by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) at the instance of the ED and they were found to be baseless after a full inquiry was completed.

“This is how he mischievously misled the court into passing an order in his favour, that should never have been passed. The investigation now being conducted by the ED is a result of this court order,” Trehan said.

The police FIR was lodged last week and the accused were booked under sections of the PMLA and Prevention of Corruption Act apart from IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and those related to forgery of documents and records.

Sharma has alleged that land for the ‘Medicity Project’ was allotted to Trehan, Sunil Sachdeva, Atul Punj and Anant Jain in violation of laws and criminal abuse of public policy, criminal misconduct, and influence by public servants causing pecuniary advantage to private persons, among others, according to the FIR.

His complaint, taken congnisance of by police on court orders, state that the Haryana government had in 2004 evicted locals from their ancestral lands in the area, now known as Sector 38, Gurgaon, for public purpose under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1984.

Thereafter, the state government, through HUDA, had released an advertisement for the ‘Medicity Project’, which was envisaged to have super-speciality hospitals of international standard to provide state-of-the-art medical facilities at one place along with other ancillary and subservient services in the form of a shopping mall and a yatri niwas.

Trehan denied any wrongdoing in this land allotment deal.

“The allegations in his complaint pertain to the 16 year old land allotment on which the hospital is built. Everything about this land allotment, which was done through a public auction, is absolutely legal.”

“The allegations in the complaint are nothing short of absurd. We have built one of the finest hospitals in this part of the world, and we are proud of the work we do,” he said.   This complaint, the leading cardiologist said, is “nothing but harassment by Raman Sharma, who has chosen to file this complaint while we are in the midst of a global pandemic.”

“Despite being over 70 years of age, I continue to tend to my patients, even in the face of this pandemic, and at risk to myself. It is of grave concern that doctors and hospitals are having to bear the brunt of harassment, by people of dubious antecedents and this is a matter of grave concern and hurt.”

The complainant alleges that factors of eligibility and terms and conditions were “nullified” at various stages by accused government officials causing pecuniary advantage to Trehan, Sachdeva, Punj and Jain, while “immense loss to the state”.