Saiful Islam, who issues fake medical certificates for anybody in exchange for Tk 5,000. Photo: Star
Do you want to file a false criminal case? Do you want a fake medical certificate declaring that you were seriously injured in an “attack”?
Wonder who can help? Well, you have Dr Saiful Islam.
His registration as a doctor expired many years ago. He does not work at Dhaka Medical College Hospital or Mitford Hospital, which are authorised to issue medical certificates in Dhaka city for criminal cases.
But Saiful carries on his booming trade sitting at a private clinic, National Diagnostic Centre, at Chankharpool intersection. In exchange for Tk 5,000, he will certify that you were “grievously injured”.
Saiful used to be a medical officer at the DMCH. He was suspended and made an officer on special duty (OSD) at Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in 2008. His suspension was withdrawn in 2010 and he remains an OSD to this day.
But he continued giving false medical certificates using the former identity of a DMCH medical officer with a chamber at a private clinic.
Dr Haridas Saha Protap, resident surgeon at the DMCH, said, “We have received scores of complaints from the police and courts about him issuing medical certificates.”
Criminal cases are sometimes recorded with the police and courts without valid medical documents. This leads to harassment of the accused in the false cases.
In connection with a criminal case in May 2010, Narsingdi Sessions Judge's Court summoned Saiful for “issuing false and fabricated medical certificates”.
A court official, having looked into the records of the case, said Saiful appeared at the court on June 7 that year. The court reprimanded an apologetic Saiful and referred him to the DGHS.
Saiful gave a medical certificate along with an injury report about an alleged physical assault on a woman in Gulshan on April 28 this year. The documents were produced as evidence in a case tried by a special tribunal in Dhaka in early May.
Dr Md Abdur Raquib, a deputy director of DGHS, said, “Saiful is not authorised to write injury reports of police cases.... We will soon take departmental action against him.”
Advocate Molay Saha, who has dealt with cases of women repression and family issues for one and half a decades, said nearly 60 percent cases about women repression due to dowries are based on false accusations and fake documents.
Shahjahan Mian Sachchu, another advocate at a Dhaka court, said special tribunals that try women repression cases and metropolitan magistrate courts often carry out a judicial inquiry to check the authenticity of the allegations before trial.
“Police sometimes take such cases despite a lack of authentic medical records apparently to squeeze the accused for unfair gains,” he said.
Officer-in-Charge Sheikh Masud Karim of Nawabganj Police Station said, “Even if we register such cases, we do not file the final report until authentic medical documents are produced.”
This correspondent called Saiful on May 19 on his mobile phone, posing as a client.
The voice on the other side said, “A certificate along with an injury report mentioning critical injuries to get someone arrested would cost Tk 5,000.”
This correspondent sent a messenger to him the next day. Saiful wrote a prescription and an injury report mentioning a fictitious physical assault on a housewife. Without even wanting to see the alleged victim, he handed in the “documents”.
The correspondent met Saiful in his chamber on May 22 and asked him what he had to say on the allegations against him.
Saiful said he was “unwell” and would respond two days later.
Asked his registration number, he said, “I do not remember it.” Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council records show he renewed it 17 years ago although the law requires a renewal every five years.
The correspondent on May 27 called him several times only to have the calls unanswered. He then sent him a message about this news report. Still, he did not respond.