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The man with sticky fingers with neither friends nor sympathy

India watched, horrified. He could be seen licking his fingers and counting the wad of notes. He was a picture of sleaze and grease, ruthless in his admission that he took money to certify women insane. Women he had never met.Women he had never even glanced at. Women who are innocent, weak. In so many ways, that picture told the story. But what is Dr SK Gupta, senior psychiatrist at Agra’s mental asylum all about? Where is this man coming from? What is his background?

The grease and the sleaze has stuck. Gupta proved more of his guilt by running away as soon as the images captured by the camera began to hit television screens. He is still absconding. A notice that is now pasted at his residence’s gate reads, “You are directed to appear before the enquiry committee on July 9 by 11am to present your point of view or it will be considered that you have no explanation to offer in your defence.”

There are few in Agra’s mental asylum who have a kind word for Gupta who has been working there for nine long years. Hospital records bear witness to the fact that he had been ticked off on more than one occasion. They also bear testimony to the fact that his salary was cut as a penalty but that didn’t stop Gupta from doing a rethink on a morally unethical side practice he had mastered the art of.

He was even caught in internal enquiries set up to determine the validity of certificates he so confidently produced in courts of law. Dr OP Gangil, the senior psychiatrist who found Gupta guilty of issuing a false certificate in the blood-chilling dowry death case (see main story) says, “I asked him about his falsehoods but he shot back saying it was his business what he did outside office hours.” Brijesh Agarwal, a medical officer at the asylum, is angry that Gupta has given a bad name to their institution and is hoping that he is caught and punished. Other colleagues say he had a lust for money and no emotions.

July 17, 2004

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