Plea on corruption in AIIMS: HC seeks CBI's stand on lodging FIR

NEW DELHI
4 Jan 2017

The Delhi High Court today sought to know CBI's stand on an application seeking a direction to register corruption cases against some senior functionaries of AIIMS for alleged irregularities in purchase of items for surgery department and trauma centre. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked CBI's counsel to file reply on the application filed by an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, which alleged that CBI has not registered cases on this issue despite a report by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) in the matter. "You (CBI) file your response. List the matter along with the main petition for February 14. In the meantime, response, if any, be filed," the bench said. In the main PIL pending before the court, CBI had said that it has registered nine cases relating to several alleged irregularities in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in last seven years. It had also informed the bench that a matter relating to allegations of irregularities and embezzlement of funds in purchase of surgical equipment was closed in July last year after no "wrongdoing" was found in it. CBI had made the statements in connection with the petition which has sought probe in several alleged graft cases relating to AIIMS. In the application, the NGO, through advocate Prashant Bhushan, has alleged that "despite there being prima facie findings of corruption by CBI and then CVO (of AIIMS) against some of the senior functionaries of AIIMS, no steps is being taken to register a regular FIR despite there being lapse of considerable time and instead attempt is being made to close the cases through a collusive departmental enquiry". It further claimed that an attempt was being made to close the case of "irregularities/corruption in purchase of various items in the department of surgery in a completely brazen manner through collusive inquiry..."The application has alleged that a contract relating to the supply of sanitation items at the trauma centre was given to a firm belonging to relatives of an official there without following any procedure and "on the basis of fabricated propriety certificates...despite availability of same items at lower rate". It claimed that despite documentary proofs showing a clear case of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, CBI did not register an FIR in the matter and left the matter for AIIMS itself and as a result, the case was closed. It sought a direction to CBI to register cases in these matters. Former Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of AIIMS, Sanjeev Chaturvedi, had earlier accused the Health Ministry of not doing anything in several graft cases relating to the premier institution by allegedly sitting over the charge sheets and CBI reports against the individuals involved. AIIMS, on its part, had said that the PIL has been filed in "personal interest" with a view to damaging the reputation of the institute.(PTI)