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This article was first published 12 years ago  » News » UP: New twist in multi-crore health scam probe

UP: New twist in multi-crore health scam probe

By Sharat Pradhan
July 25, 2011 21:19 IST
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Two applications were filed before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Monday seeking the inclusion of earlier chief ministers in the ambit of the probe into the National Rural Health Mission funds scam.

A division bench comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi were hearing arguments on a PIL moved by journalist Sachidanand Gupta, demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the irregularities.

The scam is suspected to be the reason behind the recent murders of three top doctor in the state admnistration. The PIL was argued by senior counsel Kamini Jaiswal, who flew down from Delhi for the case. 

"Separate impleadment applications were moved by two well-known lawyers who sought that any probe into the alleged financial irregularities must include funds rolled out under the NRHM scheme right since 2005," said an official of the court.

Speculations were rife that the new applications wanted the investigative agency to probe the misuse of funds under the regime of Samajwadi Party chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who served as the CM till May 2007, before Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati ousted him.

The applications were moved by senior advocates L P Misra and Sandeep Dixit.

"We are not against a CBI probe into the suspicion of financial irregularities under NRHM, but in that case why exclude the earlier period? After all, a lot of funding had started flowing in right from 2005 under various centrally sponsored health programmes, while the NRHM came in its full form with effect from 2006. Therefore it would be in the larger interest of justice to include the entire period in the ambit of the proposed inquiry," argued the lawyers.

While vehemently opposing the pleas seeking a CBI probe, Uttar Pradesh government's Additional Advocate General Jaideep Mathur and Chief Standing Counsel Devendra Upadhaya argued, "The state government has not only ordered seven inquiries into the alleged bungling but has also taken some corrective action against certain officials ."

Favouring a probe by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, they stated, "Considering that the CAG is a constitutional body, it is certainly more independent than the CBI, which could be influenced by the central government. Therefore the entire case should be entrusted to the CAG, whose experts could even go into the finer points to dig out every financial irregularity".

The arguments in the court will continue on Tuesday when the court is likely to take a final call on the issue.

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