CVC ignored CBI recommendations and closed graft cases against AIIMS senior staff, claims whistleblower
Central Vigilance Commission closed cases of corruption involving senior functionaries in Delhi's AIIMS, whistleblower IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi has claimed.
New Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission closed cases of corruption involving senior functionaries in Delhi's AIIMS, whistleblower IFS officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi has claimed.
Chaturvedi, who is seeking a probe against Central Vigilance Commissioner KV Chowdary, recently sent documents, running into almost 1,000 pages, in support of his claim to the president's office.
The winner of the Ramon Magsaysay award for exposing corruption in public office has shared the details of seven cases with the president's secretariat. The seven includes one on his alleged victimisation while he was chief vigilance officer (CVO) at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Chaturvedi served as CVO, acting as the distant arm of the CVC to check corruption, at AIIMS from July 2012 to August 2014. He brought various corruption cases to the notice of the CBI during his tenure. The CBI after a detailed probe recommended departmental action in four cases, naming officers and senior faculty members, which were closed by the CVC, reveal documents accessed by Chaturvedi through RTI.
According to the vigilance manual, cases of corruption with a criminal angle are first sent to the CBI by the CVO of the organisation. The cases of departmental action are acted upon on the basis of the CVC's direction. The probity watchdog said in its response that the report was examined in each case and taken to its logical conclusion at the appropriate level. "Such reports are confidential documents and at the time of tendering advice by the Commission due note is taken of the views of the appropriate authority," the CVC said.
Since each case involves other officers, it is not considered appropriate to furnish the details, keeping in view privacy rights and confidentiality of the reports of the various investigating agencies, it said.
Chaturvedi has enclosed a set of documents, accessed through RTI applications on all these corruption cases, with the complaint to the president's secretariat.
The first case relates to alleged corruption related to Rs 7,000 crore infrastructure work in AIIMS, and alleged illegal extension of BS Anand as head of the engineering wing in AIIMS in September 2012 for supervising the project. The CBI registered a case against Anand and Vineet Chaudhary, former deputy director of the AIIMS and an IAS officer, in January 2014, regarding pecuniary loss, property purchase and other issues, according to the documents.
In its report submitted to the health ministry in December 2014, the CBI recommended action against Chaudhary, records show. However, the CVC decided to close the case in July 2016, on the recommendation of the minister of state in health ministry instead of the department of personnel and training (DoPT). The DoPT is disciplinary authority in case of IAS officers on central deputations.
Another case deals with the purchase of disinfectants and fogging solution. These items, declared to be 'proprietary', patent items manufactured by a single firm, were purchased by the store officer of the AIIMS trauma centre allegedly from a firm belonging to his son and daughter-in-law.
A CBI report sent to the health ministry in October 2015 severely indicted store officers and then AIIMS director MC Mishra for their alleged involvement in the irregularities. This case was closed by the CVC in June 2017, on the recommendation of the health ministry.
A third case of alleged corruption related to huge "superfluous purchases" made by AIIMS functionaries on the basis of "fake quotations and travel claims" and violation of the Medical Council of India's regulations by accepting hospitality from a private medical college by a senior doctor. In this case, the CBI and the MCI in their reports sent to AIIMS in May 2013 recommended action. However, the CVC closed this case in February 2015, according to the documents.
In a fourth instance, Chaturvedi has alleged that ignoring its own instruction of March 2006, the CVC allowed the same persons, indicted by the CBI on the basis of his enquiry, to write his annual confidential report for 2015-16.
The CVC in its response said the initiation and acceptance of Annual Performance Assessment Reports of officers are governed by extant rules of the government. "In the case of APARs of CVOs, they are submitted for acceptance by the Commission after they are recorded by the concerned reporting and reviewing officers," the Commission said.
A parliamentary standing committee on health in its report submitted in August 2015 "strongly deprecated non serious attitude of health ministry in tackling corruption cases at AIIMS".
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