New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday conducted raids in three places in Uttar Pradesh in connection with the NRHM scam. The raids were conducted at the residential premises of former UP health minister Anant Mishra in Lucknow and Kanpur.
The action came after an FIR was filed by the CBI nearly two days ago in connection with the appointment of nearly 100 Chief Medical Officers (CMOs). The CBI said the appointments were made in total disregard of the rules and hence, were illegal. The investigative body claimed that the plan was to appoint 100 CMOs who would only look after the implementation of the NRHM and report directly to former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and the then principal health secretary Pradeep Shukla. These 100 CMOs were appointed despite the fact that each of the 72 districts in the state already had a CMO.
Sources say these 100 CMOs were the root cause of corruption in NRHM and that the appointments on such a large scale could not have been done without the knowledge of the top BSP leaders.
CBI sources said that crores of rupees have been siphoned off via the posts of the CMOs in Uttar Pradesh, and that the state Health Ministry was divided to make more room for such posts.
The UP Health Ministry was reportedly bifurcated into Health and Family Welfare as per the orders of former chief minister Mayawati, against the advice of the Union Health Secretary.
The ministries were headed by Babu Singh Kushwaha and Ram Prakash Jaiswal, who are both in custody right now.
The CBI filed a chargesheet against the duo on Thursday in the Rs 5,700-crore scam.
The matter pertains to Rs 13.4 crore allotted to Construction Design Services (C&DS) - a subsidiary construction agency of Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam - for the upgradation of 134 district hospitals. It is alleged that C&DS gave the task to Ghaziabad-based and Lucknow-based private firms on the basis of forged documents. This caused an approximate loss of Rs. 5.46 crore to the government exchequer.
Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam General Manager PK Jain, former project manager BN Srivastava and former resident engineer BN Ram have also been named in the chargesheet.
The CBI has also accused Kushwaha and Jaiswal of taking a bribe of Rs 9 crore to buy surgical instruments from Surgicon Pvt Ltd. Naresh Grover of Surgicon has also been named in the chargesheet. The CBI has found that all the equipments provided by Surgicon were sub-standard.
All have been charged with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.