The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested senior Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Pradeep Shukla on Thursday in connection with the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam.
The CBI nabbed Shukla, 55, from the Amuasi airport in the morning when he landed at the airport from Delhi. He was later taken to CBI headquarters in Delhi. Shukla was later taken to Ghaziabad and produced in CBI court for remand.
Shukla, now a member of the board of revenue, has held key posts in the health and family welfare department from 2008 to 2011 and faces charges of irregularities and misuse of NRHM funds.
"Contracts were awarded to various firms by Shukla without tenders, in clear violation of NRHM regulations," said a CBI official.On January 19, the CBI had raided Shukla's Butler Palace colony residence and seized incriminating documents regarding embezzlement of NRHM funds and investment of the money in immovable assets. The CBI has registered three cases against Shukla.
Allegations in the first case pertain to fraudulently awarding contracts of Rs. 89 crore for upgradation of 89 district level hospitals that resulted in a loss of R22.5 crore to the exchequer. It was alleged that officials of UP health department had criminally conspired with officers of UP Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Ltd and directors of three private firms.
The total cost of projects in the three cases is over Rs. 250 crore and mainly deal with the construction and upgradation works in hospitals across UP.
Former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha and many others who are in jail in connection with the case have told the CBI that Shukla was the mastermind of the scam, and the beneficiary firms had in return sponsored Shukla's foreign trips.