Graft case: Himachal’s director health services withdraws bail plea
He was arrested by the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau and was later suspended following an audio, in which he was purportedly heard seeking a bribe of ₹5 lakh, surfaced on Wednesday night .Updated: May 23, 2020 00:13 IST
Arrested for his alleged involvement in ₹5 lakh graft case, Himachal Pradesh’s director of health services Dr Ajay Gupta withdrew his bail petition filed before a local court here on Friday.
He was arrested by the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau on Wednesday night and was later suspended.
Soon after the attorneys of the Anti-Corruption and Vigilance Bureau argued for the rejection of Gupta’s bail plea, he withdrew the petition from the court.
“After hearing the arguments/replies of the prosecutor, the counsel of the accused preferred to withdraw the bail application. The accused remains in judicial custody,” said additional director-general of police Anurag Garg.
His arrest on Wednesday night came following the surfacing of an audio in which he was purportedly heard seeking a bribe of ₹5 lakh. Searches were conducted in the office and residence of Ajay Gupta under the supervision of SP SIU Shalini Agnihotri and certain documents were seized pertaining to various purchases made by the health department. He has been placed under suspension by the state government.
The doctor was remanded in 5-day judicial custody by the court on Thursday.
The Himachal government had appointed Bharat Bushan Katoch as the new director of health services. The vigilance sleuths also identified the other person who was in conversation with Gupta in the audio clip. He is stated to be a supplier of medical products based in Chandigarh.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress targeted chief minister Jai Ram Thakur and alleged that the top leadership in the state was involved in the scam.
Congress leader Kuldeep Singh Rathore said that the CM is under pressure as top leaders of his party are involved in the scam. The state Congress chief while addressing the media in Shimla on Friday demanded that the CM who also holds home portfolio and health to broaden the scope of the investigation.
“At a time when the country is battling the coronavirus pandemic, the medical purchase scam has surfaced,” he said adding that corona warriors including doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers continue to grapple with the shortage of personal protective equipment.