The Maharashtra legislature released Rs 35 lakh towards the medical bills of late Shrikant Jichkar, former minister and scholar, after 10 years.
Jichkar passed away in a freak accident in 2004 before which he was treated for cancer from November 2000 to July 2003 at Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of Brooklyn, in New York. The cost of the treatment in rupees was around Rs 1.04 crore.
When the bills were submitted to the state legislative secretariat in 2008 by his widow, Rajashree, the high-power committee (HPC) which clears these bills, disapproved them as the treatment was done outside the country without taking the due permission of the authorities.
The HPC, headed by state legislature secretary Uttamsinh Chavan and comprising directors of medical education, health services and top officials from finance department, referred the claim to chairman of the council and the Assembly speaker. The committee headed by chairman has the discretion of approving the bills turned down by the HPC in the exceptional cases.
The committee headed by the then chairman, Shivajirao Deshmukh, decided to approve Rs 35 lakh. The amount was given to Rajashree Jichkar in March.
“The HPC knew the bills are genuine and the treatment was necessary. The delay was due to the procedure which needed to be completed,” said an officer.
The state legislature, in its meeting held last week, has sanctioned the medical bills worth Rs76 lakh for the treatment of former home minister RR Patil, who passed away in February this year.