Delhi infant deaths: LG suspends OSD to health minister | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi infant deaths: LG suspends OSD to health minister

May 30, 2024 12:53 AM IST

The OSD will not be able to leave Delhi without permission and will be entitled to subsistence allowance at an amount equal to his leave salary

Lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena on Wednesday suspended the officer on special duty (OSD) to health minister, Dr RN Das, with immediate effect in connection with the Vivek Vihar fire incident that left six infants dead, according to an order signed by the vigilance special secretary.

The site of the Vivek Vihar fire. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
The site of the Vivek Vihar fire. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

As per the suspension order, the OSD will not be able to leave Delhi without permission and will be entitled to subsistence allowance at an amount equal to his leave salary.

Officials at the LG office said that the immediate cause for suspending the officer was over a complaint filed against a private nursing home in Shahdara that operated without a valid registration when Das was the medical superintendent of the nursing home cell. The official said that the Vivek Vihar facility that caught fire on May 25 was also registered under Das’ watch.

Das, in response to the suspension, said, “I am totally dismayed, daunted. Shocked and shattered. I have full faith in the Almighty.”

Delhi infant deaths: 29 PCR calls made about fire in 2-3 minutes, says police

In an official Delhi government statement, health minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said the LG was deliberately obstructing his ministry’s work, by systematically removing officers from his department. He said cases were being filed against his officers as part of a larger conspiracy to cripple the Delhi government.

Officials in the LG office quoted above said that the suspension was based on an inquiry by the Delhi government’s health and family welfare department. The case was later transferred to the anti-corruption branch of Delhi government.

However, Bharadwaj cried foul, seeking proof for suspending the officers. “The LG first fired all my advisors, fellows and consultants who came from reputed national and international backgrounds. Then, officials are being suspended by investigating old cases that are not even from my tenure as health minister. The idea is not to establish their guilt but to stop work of the health department. Several other OSDs and advisors of mine related to irrigation, DUSIB, urban development, water and health were removed earlier,” Bharadwaj said.

Earlier in the day, the minister posted a question to the LG on X, which read: “When I requested you multiple times to suspend the professor who molested two MBBS students in Delhi’s Medical College, I was told that power to suspend is not with LG. My ecretary Health was absconding and not responding to calls and messages. However, u have suspended my OSD. Was that an effort to save the molester then? (sic)”

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