New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) A special court here has acquitted a retired officer of an army hospital in a 12-year-old cheating case allegedly involving bogus bills for supply of medicine.
Central Bureau of Investigation Special Judge Dharmesh Sharma, in an order passed Saturday, acquitted former Lt. Col. J.K. Bhagat who earlier headed the nuclear medicine department (NMD) of the Army (Research and Referral) Hospital.
The case was registered in 2000 and probed by the CBI which accused both Bhagat and medicine supplier Kent Industries’ proprietor Gagan Khanna of cheating the NMD and causing pecuniary loss to it.
Khanna has also been acquitted by the court.
The case was registered after a surprise inspection of the NMD April 28, 2000 by defence ministry officials.
During the check, nine vials of medicine Ceretec were physically found in the medical store as against 36 vials that should have been there as per the official record.
The court said that Bhagat as senior officer in the project of Armed Forces Medical Research Committee (AFMRC) acted probably in “best interest of the department” without any intention or malice in the entire operation.
“He (Bhagat) was a senior officer in the project of AFMRC and he probably acted in best interest of the department ensuring that no undue loss is caused due to shorter life of medicine, which had the approval of the commandant,” the court said in an order made available Tuesday.
During the trial, however, it emerged that the NMD had an informal understanding with the supplier that it would retain the medicine for safe-keeping and supply it as soon as its need arose.
The court expressed shock on the gap between the raid and the registration of case.
“The most shocking aspect of this case is that while the raid was conducted on April 28, 2000 the first information report (FIR) was registered on Oct 3, 2001 and thereafter it took the prosecution more than four years to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet in the court on July 1, 2005,” said the court.