In India, the problem of fake degree is not unknown. The problem of counterfeit degrees is not limited to only one field. There are many areas in which an individual uses his/her fake degree, especially in the medical field. A negligent act by a doctor who possesses a fake degree of certificate in treating a patient (by someone who is not a doctor) will have a gruesome effect on the public at large.
The fraudulent imitation of certificates is orchestrated by fake universities, diploma mills, etc. Many a time, it is observed that the degrees of the existing reputed doctor or medical colleges are forged. The World Health Organization had stated that around 57.3% of the doctors are operating without a medical degree by using a fake medical degree. Many people lose their lives as they are operated by a doctor who is not genuine and uses a fake degree in order to run the clinic. There are many FIRs that have been registered by the Medical Council of India against these fake medical degrees.
The Maharashtra Medical Council stated that there were57 medical practitioners who submitted their fake Post Graduation degrees in order to get registered in the State Medical Register. All the degrees were in the name of a medical college (College of Physicians and Surgeons) in Mumbai. During the investigation, it was revealed that there were many students who had been registered with the Maharashtra Medical Council and were allowed to practice medicine on the basis of their forged degrees. After an inquiry, the Maharashtra Medical Council found out that the fake doctors were treating the patients since four years in Mumbai. An FIR was filed by the Maharashtra Medical Council. Also, the Maharashtra Medical Council revoked the practising license of all these doctors.
According to sources, the Delhi Medical Council had also asked the police to register FIRs against 422 people who had not registered with any of the state council and were not having any valid degree to treat patients in the year between 2012 and 2015. It was also reported that there were at least 50 FIRs that had been registered by the Medical Council of India against the fake medical degrees.
According to the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, section 15 states that the doctor shall get himself registered under the State medical register, only after that, he is entitled to practice medicine, hold his office, will be entitled to sign or authenticate a medical/fitness certificate, If the above provision is not complied with, then that person is liable for imprisonment, which may extend to one year or with a fine which may extend to one thousand or both.
Section 468 of the Indian Penal Code deals with ‘Forgery’ for the purpose of cheating. It states that anybody who commits forgery, intending that either the document or electronic record forged in order to cheat then the person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to seven years and will also be liable for a fine.
Hence, we can conclude that the medical practitioner can face many consequences of using a fake medical degree. The medical license can get revoked by the Medical Council of India or State Medical Council. He can be punished under section 15 of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956. An FIR can also get registered against him. He can also be punished under section 468 of the Indian Penal Code.
Not only the patient, but even the life of the fake medical practitioner is affected if he operates on the patient or uses a fake degree to run his clinic. Therefore, to avoid any such circumstances it is advised that the doctors should not indulge in such activities.