ACB searches 3 Delhi godowns after Kapil Mishra’s ‘medicine scam’ allegations
Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra met L-G Anil Baijal on Monday to complain about alleged irregularities in procuring medicines by Satyendar Jain’s health department in AAP government.delhi Updated: Jun 02, 2017 00:07 IST
The anti-corruption branch (ACB) searched three warehouses of a pharmaceutical company Delhi on Thursday, launching investigation into the alleged medicine scam involving Delhi government, based on a complaint lodged by sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra.
ACB chief Mukesh Kumar Meena said that the branch began the probe after Mishra alleged fraud in procurement of medicines, which he said, was a part of “irregularities” in the health department that cost exchequer Rs 300 crore.
The Delhi government, denying the allegations, said that the ACB should take action instead of “doing drama” and just conducting raids.
Meena said, “Our teams searched three warehouses on Wednesday. We conducted searches on Thursday too. This is part of our preliminary inquiry,” Meena said, without divulging if any evidence was found during the searches. He said no FIR has been registered in this connection yet. ACB sources said the medicines found in the three warehouses were not past the expiry date.
Mishra had given a complaint to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal alleging that medicines purchased by the heath department on minister Satyendar Jain’s instructions were rotting at the warehouses. He had alleged that though the hospitals had said they do not need medicines in stock, they were bought and are lying unused and wasted at the warehouses.
“The government bought medicines worth crores of rupees six months in advance even when hospitals said they don’t need them. Three godowns were built to store the medicines, which are now going waste as there are no takers,” Mishra said in his complaint. On May 29, he met Baijal with the complaint. The L-G had forwarded the complaint to the ACB.
Responding to the developments, labour minister Gopal Rai said, “The Central government has all the agencies at its disposal. They should take action instead of doing drama in the name of investigation and raids. We are ready for any probe.”
ACB officers had on Wednesday visited the Delhi secretariat to get papers from the health department related to purchase of the medicines.
While the Aam Aadmi Party had laughed off the allegations made by Mishra terming them “entertainment”, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said in Delhi assembly on Wednesday that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was personally reviewing the functioning of Delhi government hospitals, including supply of medicines and payment related to their procurement.
Sisodia was speaking in reply to leader of opposition Vijendar Gupta, who had raised the issue of lack of medicine in government hospitals, the condition of which was made public by the Chief Minister himself.
Mishra fell out with Kejriwal and his team in May after he was removed as the water minister. Soon after he accused him and his cabinet colleagues of corruption.