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Murder before multi-cr scam expose

HE KNEW all the tricks applied by corrupt officers to embezzle government fund. But before he could blow the whistle the tricksters murdered him. Though a multi-crore scam has been unearthed at Rae Bareli but the Health Department is yet to initiate action against the corrupt officers. A senior assistant in the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) office at Rae Bareli, SK Lal was member of a gang involved in siphoning off government fund. Later he had a tiff with other members and decided to expose them. But Lal was murdered.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2006 01:50 IST

HE KNEW all the tricks applied by corrupt officers to embezzle government fund. But before he could blow the whistle the tricksters murdered him. Though a multi-crore scam has been unearthed at Rae Bareli but the Health Department is yet to initiate action against the corrupt officers.

A senior assistant in the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) office at Rae Bareli, SK Lal was member of a gang involved in siphoning off government fund. Later he had a tiff with other members and decided to expose them. But Lal was murdered. The gang included three doctors, an administrative officer and two senior assistants posted in the CMO office.

The Auditor-General, Allahabad smelt a rat and directed the Health Department to dispatch a fact-finding team to Rae Bareli. Though members of the team have submitted their report. The name of the killer who masterminded killing of Lal to hide his misdeeds is mentioned clearly in the report. But no departmental action has been initiated against him.

On October 18 last year Lal was murdered. An inquiry was ordered in early December and Director-General Medical Health Dr B Nath received the report by December end.

During investigation the inquiry team found that a senior assistant in the CMO office, Devata Din and a few officers indulged in malpractices and they killed Lal before he could spill the beans. An FIR was lodged against Devata but he has been absconding since the killing. Interestingly, the then CMO had ordered no inquiry and neither Devata was suspended.

The inquiry team in its report had made startling revelation. They found that salaries of six doctors were drawn each month, though the doctors were never posted in Rae Bareli. Fake attendance sheet was prepared and salary was withdrawn from the treasury.

How could salary be withdrawn when all financial documents required signature of the drawing and disbursing officer CJ Yadav? During investigation it was found that Yadav was also a member of the team. He did not put the account number on the salary cheques and the salary of fake doctors was transferred from treasury to the account of the deputy CMO.

Later the amount was withdrawn from the account of the Deputy CMO and Devata and other officials got their share. The salary scam cost the government treasury around Rs 55 lakh in 2005 alone. The malpractice had been continuing for a decade.

There were other methods too that members of the gang applied to misappropriate government fund. Sample this: Rs 6,900 was to be withdrawn through cheque number 977250 issued by the CMO on May 3, 2005. But they withdrew Rs 60,900 from the bank.

“It’s multi-crore scam and we have urged the State government to provide security to members of the inquiry team since the killer are still at large,” a member of the team told the Hindustan Times.

First Published: Jan 07, 2006 01:50 IST