Conflicting medical reports of fitness of a driver who had colour blindness - probe of an accident lead to hundreds of similar cases with visual defects - CIC: share the reports with appellant who is pursuing a PIL against issuance of fitness certificates
Conflicting reports of fitness of a driver who had colour blindness - probe of an accident in 2011 caused by a driver without fitness lead to hundreds of candidates who were found medically unfit due to visual defects - CIC: share the copies of the reports with the appellant who is pursuing a Public Interest Litigation case against a possible scam behind the issuance of certificates of fitness /unfitness to the drivers - CIC: the file reveals the possibility of a serious scandal which can prove to be a grave threat to the life of pedestrians and commuters on the Delhi roads - certificates of fitness or unfitness are issued in a most nonserious manner without the application of mind and without explaining the methods of test and the result - the letters forwarded by the Medical Board were unsigned by the concerned authority or any of the doctors - As many as 91 out of 99 candidates were declared medically ‘unfit’ by the DTC Medical Board were, subsequently, declared ‘fit’ by the Guru Nanak Eye Centre - when an independent medical board was constituted by Health Department of G.N.C.T. of Delhi, all the 91 candidates were found ‘unfit’ again - the CIC recommended to the Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Delhi to take urgent notice of the matter because even after the lapse of one year from the date of letter written by the CMD of DTC to Health Secretary, no further action was reported
The appellant is present. The Public Authority is represented by Ms. Renu Popli, Sr. Manager & PIO, Mr. Jagdish Chand, Manager, Mr. B.S. Chauhan, Sr. Manager and Mr. A.K. Chawla, Vigilance Officer.
2. The respondent PIO Ms. Renu Popli has submitted her explanation at 5 pm this day and then she attached 2 reports mentioning that Mr. Ram Kumar Bhati has colour blindness and the form on which the fitness certificate is filled in does not show whether this is a disqualification or not. It appears that the same is deliberately left out. The other report is from Dr. V.Ghosh, Director, Guru Nanak Eye Centre who has given a hand written report, which simply lists out the names of the candidates and the name of Mr. Ram Kumar Bhati is at serial no.5 and simply mentions that they are fit. The respondent says that there is a third report of Deen Dayal Hospital which found him unfit. From the record, there is consistent questioning about the appointment of Mr. Ram Kumar Bhati. Three tests were conducted and reports are not clear and legible. No explanation about the fitness or unfitness is given. There are deliberate ambiguities and gaps in the report.
3. The respondent authorities have furnished information in pursuance of CIC order which contains a report from Vigilance Officer and a letter addressed by Mr. Rajeev Verma, Chairman cum Managing Director, DTC to Mr. SCL Das, Secretary (Health & Family Welfare), Govt. of NCT Delhi. The Commission directs the respondent authority to share the copies of the reports which they furnished to the Commission, with the appellant who is pursuing a Public Interest Litigation case against a possible scam behind the issuance of certificates of fitness/unfitness to the drivers.
4. It is also informed that there was an accident in 2011caused by a driver without fitness and when it was further probed, hundreds of candidates were found medically unfit due to several visual defects. The way certificates issued by certain medical boards, appear to be not in proper form and there are no details of fitness or unfitness of the candidates. In this regard, the appellant furnished to the Commission, a copy of the PIL filed in Delhi High Court and said that the respondent authority is furnishing information in piecemeal, after prolonged persuasion which in no way help them in pursuing the developments in the DTC, with reference to the appointment of drivers.
5. The explanation given by the PIO includes details about the letters she has written to various officers to collect the information in response to RTI application of the appellant. She claims that she has furnished every information available and collected by her from different departments. The Commission is satisfied with the explanation given by the respondent. The officers also assured that there is nothing for them to hide and they are sincerely investigating the incidents and they have no hesitation to take action against the persons found involved in obtaining false fitness certificates.
6. However, this file reveals the possibility of a serious scandal which can prove to be a grave threat to the life of pedestrians and commuters on the Delhi roads. The RTI application was referring to one single candidate Mr. Ram Kumar Bhati who was found unfit by the DTC Medical Board. He secured appointment as driver and then he was sent to medical examination to Guru Nanak Eye Centre which issued a handwritten report certifying him to be fit. Then he was again sent to another hospital, namely, Deen Dayal Hospital for third examination in which he was certified as ‘unfit’.
7. From the file it appears that the certificates of fitness or unfitness are issued in a most nonserious manner without the application of mind and without explaining the methods of test and the result. There is no medical opinion attached to such certificates. Some of the certificates are handwritten which do not reveal anything except they are ‘fit’. What was thought to be misrepresentation of candidates to secure driver posts, now appears to have turned into grave irregularities in issuing medical certificates by doctors/medical boards of different hospitals ina haphazard manner.
8. It was submitted to the Commission that Mr. Rajeev Verma, Chairman cum Managing Director of DTC wrote a letter to Shri SCL Das, Secretary (Health & Family Welfare), NCT of Delhi on 11-9-2013 seeking the intervention of the Health Deptt. for fixing the responsibility on the erring persons leading to appointment of unfit drivers in the Corporation. In the letter, the CMD mentioned that one of the drivers who was declared medically fit by the Guru Nanak Eye Centre had committed a major accident. When he was subjected to medical examination, he was found to be unfit by the DTC Medical Board, thereby necessitating a relook into the medical examination of such drivers who were examined by the Guru Nanak Eye Centre. The CMD also observed that the letters forwarded by the Medical Board were unsigned by the concerned authority or any of the doctors. As many as 91 out of 99 candidates were declared medically ‘unfit’ by the DTC Medical Board were, subsequently, declared ‘fit’ by the Guru Nanak Eye Centre. When an independent medical board, was constituted by Health Department of G.N.C.T. of Delhi, all the 91 candidates were found ‘unfit’ again.
9. While the CMD’s letter refers only to Guru Nanak Eye Centre and their fitness reports about the colour blindness; but the whole episode reveals the possibility of several such irregularities with reference to health and fitness conditions of the drivers. Assuming that all the 91 drivers are unfit because of colour blindness, it will lead to dangerous accidents on Delhi roads. The file before the Commission does not reveal whether these 91 drivers were removed or any action taken against them or still the same drivers are driving the DTC vehicles. Hence the Commission recommends the Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Delhi to take urgent notice of the matter because even after the lapse of one year from the date of letter written by the CMD of DTC to Health Secretary, no further action was reported. The Commission recommends that an urgent comprehensive enquiry into the matter is essential to prevent the unfit drivers using the DTC vehicles on the roads. Necessary action against the personnel of DTC, Medical Boards and other personnel of medical boards if found to be involved in this scam, may be taken. The Commission directs that this order may be annexed with the copy of the letter Dt.11-9-2013 of CMD, DTC to Health Secretary, NCT of Delhi, and sent to the Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Delhi.
10. The case is disposed of accordingly.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Dhan Singh v. DTC in File No.CIC/AD/A/2012/003400SA