Dr. Narendra Gupta has fallen under scrutiny in his home country, following revelations in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's "Breakdown" podcast that within months of Georgia banishing him for sexually abusing patients, he resumed practicing in India.
The High Court of Delhi has asked Indian medical authorities to explain how Gupta slipped through their regulatory cracks. The diabetes/hypertension specialist set up shop there despite promising an Atlanta judge that he would never be a doctor again anywhere in the world, as part of a deal to avoid prison. He now has clinics in Delhi and nearby Gurgaon, and he also sees patients at a Gurgaon hospital.
Gupta is the subject of "Predator, M.D.," the third season of "Breakdown" and a spinoff of the newspaper's award-winning Doctors & Sex Abuse project. All six episodes are available on iTunes and other podcast networks, as well as MyAJC.com.
For Episode 6, the AJC teamed up with a Delhi-based freelance reporter, Devika Bakshi, who determined that after Gupta left the United States in disgrace, he coasted back into India's medical community on the same license issued to him in 1977, the year he graduated from medical school. No agency there appears to have looked into Gupta's record between his departure from India in the late 1970s and his return around 2012.
During those years, the AJC's investigation determined, Gupta faced allegations of groping, sexually harassing, attacking and improperly examining at least 18 women in Canada, Ohio and Georgia. In 2009, Johns Creek police charged him with felony aggravated sexual battery, which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years, plus two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.
But in 2011, Gupta's defense attorney cut a deal with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard's office. Gupta got to go free, so long as he gave up his Georgia medical license, stayed away from his victims, wrapped up the civil lawsuits against him, left the United States, and promised never to practice medicine again, anywhere.
"Do you understand that, Mr. Gupta?" Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua asked Gupta from the bench.
"Yes," he said.
Based on a post on his Facebook page, Gupta resumed practicing about five months later.
"He has to be stopped," one of his Atlanta victims said upon learning of Gupta's continuing career in India. "They have to know what happened, what he did here."
They know now.
Bakshi, the freelance reporter, spoke to Gupta briefly for the podcast until he told her to leave his clinic. She published a local article about his history, and how ill-equipped India's medical regulators are to detect such doctors, in Tuesday's editions of The Indian Express, an English-language daily newspaper.
Officials there have taken notice. The Press Trust of India reported Tuesday that the High Court of Delhi, in reaction to the article, asked the Medical Council of India to explain what mechanisms are in place to prevent Indian-born doctors barred by other countries from returning and seeing patients again.
The judges also asked Delhi state legal services to investigate Gupta and file a report within four days.
You can find all six episodes of "Breakdown: Predator, M.D." by clicking here.