Jumbo COVID-19 Centre Scam: Court Says Dr Kishore Bisure Accepted Money With Knowledge

Mumbai: In the alleged Covid jumbo centre scam, the special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) recently rejected the bail of Dr Kishore Bisure, the dean of Dahisar Covid centre. In its detailed order, the court observed that there is no reasonable ground to believe that Bisure is not guilty of money laundering.

Bisure’s lawyer Subir Sarkar had contended that he was not part of the conspiracy and should at most be charged for corruption. Rejecting the claim, special judge MG Deshpande said, “Whether cash is recovered or not, is immaterial. Even if the applicant’s contention is accepted that he was not a part of any criminal activity relating to the scheduled offence, prima-facie he was quite aware of the source of money generated by the partners of Lifeline Hospital Management Services, and their intention behind it.”

As per the case, Lifeline obtained the tender for supply of doctors, nurses, ward boys, assistants and technicians to jumbo Covid centres at Dahisar and Worli from July 2020 to February 2022 allegedly based on false and incomplete documents.

The court said that by authorising the vouchers and bills for the payments, Bisure clearly brought himself within the ambit of “assisting, possessing, acquiring, using” the proceeds of crime with knowledge. 

It was noted that Lifeline partner Sujit Patkar, in his statement, has claimed that during clearance of the first invoice, October 2020, Bisure had called for a meeting at Lifeline’s Parel office and demanded 3-4% commission for clearing each invoice. In that meeting, the amount allegedly could not be finalised even after negotiations. A few days later, Bisure allegedly agreed to Rs2 lakh in cash each month in the presence of all partners at the temporary BMC office at Dahisar jumbo Centre.

Referring to the evidence presented by the Enforcement Directorate, the court noted that some of the statements “clearly referred to how cash and cheques were given to the applicant…”

The court further noted, “The driver of the taxi engaged by the applicant also stated how he (Bisure) gave him two cheques and encashed through him. Certainly, the applicant had no need to enter into any transaction as such with a taxi driver. The chat details recovered from forensic analysis of the mobile handset of Sanjay Shah (one of the accused in the case and partner in Lifeline) clearly refers to the details about the payments made to the applicant.”

It was noted that administrative medical officer Dr Rohan Patani noticed the difference in the staff deputed and the actual bills claimed. Bisure is said to have pressured him to continue with the details suitable to Lifeline and submit them to him for final sanction, the court noted.

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