Anti-cancer drug scam: Odisha HC grants bail to doctor couple

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Oct 5:

The Orissa High Court today granted bail to Dr. Surendranath Senapati and Dr. Deeptirani Samanta, the doctor couple who were arrested for allegedly prescribing inferior quality drugs to cancer patients.


Dr. Senapati, Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology of the Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre (AHRCC) and Dr. Samanta, an Assistant Professor in Department of Medical Oncology in the same hospital, were arrested by Vigilance officials on September 16.

The agency had also arrested the proprietor of the pharmaceutical manufacturing firm JBSL Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Sudhanshu Das which had supplied low-quality drugs meant for cancer patients.

The bails pleas of the trio were earlier rejected by the Special Vigilance court here on September 17.

Notably, the doctor couple is also accused of recommending non-reputed pharmaceutical companies to Odisha State Medicine Corporation Limited (OSMCL).

The duo was prescribing anti-cancer drugs of JBSL brand to patients covered under Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF) and Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana (BKKY) schemes.

According to reports, the price of the drugs prescribed by the couple was higher compared to competitor brands of reputed companies.

Earlier on August 9, the Vigilance had raided the Majestic Towers residence of the doctor couple in Mangalabag on allegations of amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

According to sources, the anti-corruption wing officials had detected assets of around Rs 3.6 crore in their possession. The immovable assets include 12 plots in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Pune. The sleuths detected 1250 gm gold and diamond jewellery, Rs 14.42 lakh cash and bank deposits of Rs 34.51 lakh, market investments of Rs 23.59 lakh and fixed deposits of Rs 9.80 lakh.

The Vigilance had also raided the pharma company’s godowns and a pharmacy shop.

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