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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Court asks if Delhi Police fit to probe fund embezzlement case

Additional sessions judge Ashish Aggarwal of Tis Hazari court told the home secretary to see if the case may be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other probe agency.

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2019 10:28 IST
Namita Singh
Namita Singh
Hindustan Times,New Delhi
The court  issued a bailable warrant against the Medical Superintendent of the Lok Nayak Hospital after he failed to appear with records pertaining to the discovery of the fraud.
The court issued a bailable warrant against the Medical Superintendent of the Lok Nayak Hospital after he failed to appear with records pertaining to the discovery of the fraud. (Burhaan Kinu /HT photo(Representative photo))
         

A city court has asked the Union home secretary to examine if Delhi Police, under its present chief Amulya Patnaik, is fit to probe a case of alleged embezzlement of funds by officials at the capital’s Lok Nayak Hospital, after the department was found to have sat on the case for over three years .

Additional sessions judge Ashish Aggarwal of Tis Hazari court also told the home secretary to see if the case may be transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other probe agency.

The court made these observations after the police commissioner failed to comply with an earlier order by the court to register a first information report (FIR) against police officers who allegedly delayed converting the hospital’s complaint of embezzlement into an FIR and acting on it.

In a police complaint in September 2015, the hospital had alleged that over R1 crore was siphoned off by its employees. Although the hospital provided evidence to the effect, including an audit report, IP Estate police allegedly failed to act on the complaint for over three years and filed an FIR on the case only in January this year.

Aggarwal, in his July 30 order, had observed that an FIR had been delayed “with a view to provide benefit to the accused persons”.

“Not only the police officers holding the enquiry/ investigation but their superior officers who allowed the matter to be suppressed are responsible and culpably accountable for this,” the judge said.

The court had also directed Delhi Police commissioner Patnaik “…to look into the matter…and to order registration of FIR against the said police officers, after examining whether they were in contact with the offenders at the time of their inaction.”

In the next hearing on August 14, the court observed that it did not receive any report or intimation of initiation of action from the police commissioner’s office. The commissioner had instead passed on the complaint to the deputy commissioner of police (central) “to investigate the role of his superiors, among others”, the judge said.

“...So eager was the commissioner of police to suppress the breach that he did not even care to assign the enquiry to a competent person who is higher in rank to the persons who are under the scanner,” he said.

The court observed that the DCP, in turn, delegated the responsibility to the station house officer of IP Estate police station, who too failed to appear before the court. “The court is therefore constrained to bring the matter to the notice of the home secretary, government of India,” said the judge.

Delhi Police spokesperson, DCP (central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa, said, “We are looking into the matter.”

The court also issued a bailable warrant against the Medical Superintendent of the Lok Nayak Hospital after he failed to appear with records pertaining to the discovery of the fraud.

“We have received the notice and we are going to file a reply,” said the Dr Kishore Singh, medical superintendent of Lok Nayak Hospital.

First Published: Aug 17, 2019 10:28 IST