The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probing the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam on Saturday registered a fresh case relating to selective appointment of more than 100 chief medical officers (CMOs) in 72 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
The appointments — in total disregard of rules — were made by then ministers Babu Singh Kushwaha and Anant Kumar Mishra in collusion with private contractors to ensure that they bagged lucrative supply and construction orders, CBI sources said.
On each appointment, middlemen — who had interests in medicine and other supplies — allegedly paid R15-20 lakh as bribe to Kushwaha, former minister of family welfare, and Mishra, former health minister.
“When the CBI grilled CMOs of various districts, they revealed that they paid hefty amounts to Mishra, Kushwaha and bureaucrats for lucrative posts. The former ministers and bureaucrats then invested the ill-gotten money in real estate,” a CBI officer said.
The CBI also detected large irregularities in supply of medicines to government hospitals under the NRHM programme.
“The health department had made payment to medicine suppliers on fake bills. In return, the suppliers gave commission to some (former) ministers and officers,” the officer said.
Earlier in the day, the CBI raided Mishra’s residences in Lucknow and Kanpur and recovered documents pertaining to “ill-gotten” money.
Cases have also been registered against 80 CMOs and two-dozen medicine suppliers for their involvement in the scam.