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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

NRHM scam probe is now CBI’s biggest investigation

Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 05, 2014
First Published: 00:00 IST(5/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:09 IST(5/8/2014)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has, so far, filed 71 cases to probe the alleged irregularities in the utilisation of Rs. 10, 000 crore allocated to Uttar Pradesh under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme during 2005-11, making this its biggest investigation till date.

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The NRHM probe has pipped the agency’s probe into the Rs. 950-crore fodder-scam of the nineties, with 64 cases, to the second place. At least 330 people were convicted in the fodder-scam case.

The agency has also filed 20-plus preliminary enquiries and around 14 chargesheets in its NHRM probe which exposed the misuse of funds meant for upgradation of basic public health infrastructure in 72 districts.

Those under the CBI’s scanner include former UP health minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and senior IAS officer Pradeep Shukla.

CBI’s director Ranjit Sinha told HT, “The NRHM probe was initiated on court orders and despite our manpower crunch, we are doing our utmost to probe the irregularities.”

The NRHM probe has revealed that a health minister in the previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government had allegedly taken bribes to facilitate the purchase of medical supplies at 10 times the market rates from a drug cartel via pliable officials. As part of the alleged conspiracy, he had prepared a list of pliable chief medical officers and posted them in various districts of the state, said the source.

The minister had favoured private drug suppliers, which caused a loss worth several crores to the exchequer, said the source.


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