Former chief vigilance officer of AIIMS, Sanjeev Chaturvedi, accused the Union health ministry on Wednesday of not doing anything in several graft cases relating to the institution by allegedly sittin
Former chief vigilance officer of AIIMS, Sanjeev Chaturvedi, accused the Union health ministry on Wednesday of not doing anything in several graft cases relating to the institution by allegedly sitting over chargesheets and CBI reports against the individuals involved.
He made the accusation in an affidavit filed before the Delhi high court in a PIL by an NGO seeking recusal of the Union health minister from acting as a disciplinary authority, alleging that he had “unfettered powers to influence the course of proceedings in all the corruption cases.”
The PIL by Centre for Public Interest Litigation has also sought a CBI probe into various graft cases in AIIMS. Union health minister J.P. Nadda had earlier told the high court that the PIL was “actuated by ulterior motive” to gain political mileage and “malign” the government’s image.
Mr Nadda had, in his reply to the PIL before a bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini, refuted allegations that Mr Chaturvedi was removed from the post as he was conducting a probe in several corruption cases related to various malpractices in AIIMS.
He also refuted as false and frivolous the allegation that as a result of Mr Chaturvedi’s removal, the graft cases involving officials close to the minister are being reviewed and have slowed down.
Mr Chaturvedi claimed in his affidavit that the Union health ministry has not replied since February 2 to the Central Vigilance Commission letter seeking the ministry CVO’s comment on whether they have taken any action on the CBI case registered against some individuals. “This affidavit is being filed just to place on record CVC letter dated February 2, 2016 to respondent 4 (CVO, Union health ministry) seeking status report about action taken on major corruption cases of institute, including the present director, AIIMS, and fact that till date same is unattended by the health ministry,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Chaturvedi had claimed in his first affidavit that the previous Union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, as well as the CBI had recommended major penalty proceedings against some AIIMS officials in connection with alleged irregularities in construction of port-a-cabins at Jhajjar campus of the institute, but no action had been taken. He said that he came to know about the recommendations through RTI queries and contended that the lack of action “reflects the nexus” between the accused and Mr Nadda.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare, in its reply, had also termed as “incorrect” that after Mr Chaturvedi’s removal as CVO, no vigilance officer is functioning at AIIMS as a joint secretary-rank official has been assigned charge of the post. AIIMS, on its part, had said the PIL has been filed in “personal interest” of the NGO and with a view to damaging the reputation of the institute.
The PIL has contended Mr Chaturvedi started initiating action in corruption cases relating to various malpractices, including “supply of dubious medicines by a private chemist shop having influential political nexus, role of middlemen in making fake OPD cards.”