The Vigilance Bureau (VB) has questioned former civil surgeon Dr RL Bassan as part of the probe into the purchase of electronic equipment and other items at the Jalandhar civil surgeon’s office between 2013 and 2015.
A team of VB sleuths posed questions before the former civil surgeon pertaining to the utilisation of funds by his office during his tenure besides recording his statement.
Besides Dr Bassan, the VB also grilled more staff members, including a storekeeper and an accountant, working at the civil surgeon’s office and recorded their statements.
The probe agency has also taken in its possession records of bank statements of the civil surgeon office’s bank accounts.
The agency has also sought the details of the entire process of purchase, including formation of a committee, generation of demand by various branches, inviting tenders etc, from the health department in nearby districts.
Sources said the officials and employees, whose involvement is suspected in this, have started approaching their political bosses to save their skin.
Confirming the development, VB senior superintendent of police (SSP) Satinder Singh said a notice was issued to Dr Bassan and others following which they joined the probe.
He did not divulge details of what was asked from them.
The SSP said the inquiry would take some time to complete and they would take action accordingly in this connection. If needed, his team would question these people again, he said.
Singh said they have expedited the investigation into spending of funds between 2013 and 2015.
Hindustan Times has some copies of invoices purportedly issued by the surgical firm Dev Surgical Industries. The firm owner had claimed that his company did not deal in such products.
As per the invoice number 28, the civil surgeon’s office had purchased an LCD computer, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system, a printer and a central processing unit (CPU) with a DVD writer from the firm.
An invoice of `38,867 was issued to the office with `2,217 as VAT by the firm.
The invoice numbering 32 and 33, with the same bill amount for the same products, were issued the same day. The same products were again purchased by the civil surgeon’s office on January 4, 2015, against invoice number 37 at the same amount.
When contacted, former Dr Bassan said that he was busy somewhere and asked to contact later on.