The CBI on Monday filed the chargesheet against Pradeep Shukla, a former principal secretary of health and family welfare, in a special court in Ghaziabad in a case of irregularities in the implementation of the National Rural Health Mission in UP.
The matter involved upgradation of 89 hospitals in which the exchequer suffered a loss of Rs 5.89 crore. It arose from one of the three FIRs the CBI had lodged against Shukla and others on January 19 last year.
CBI’s Chief Information Officer Dharini Mishra told The Indian Express that the agency received the sanction to prosecute Shukla, who is an IAS office of 1981 batch, from the Department of Personnel and Training on November 30.
On November 27, the Supreme Court had expressed displeasure over the CBI waiting for the sanction despite its judgment that sanction would be deemed to have been granted if the competent authority failed to decide it within three months. The court had fixed December 10 for the next hearing.
The issues of giving sanction to prosecute Shukla were reportedly caught between DoPT, CVC and the state government. The CBI had sent seven reminders to the UP government since August, but in vain. However, the Supreme Court’s strictures seem to have removed all hurdles.
Besides Shukla, the chargesheet names officials of the Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Ltd (PACCFED), which is a UP government-controlled cooperative organisation. They are managing director V K Chaudhary, chief engineer M M Tripathi, superintending engineer A K Srivastava and assistant engineer Vipul Kumar.
Other accused in the case are former directors-general of health and family welfare Dr S P Ram and Dr R R Bharti, and businessmen Saurabh Jain and Sunil Kumar Singhal. Ram, Jain and Singhal have already been chargesheeted in the case. All three are in jail.
Shukla was arrested on May 10, but released in August after the CBI failed to file chargesheet against him within 90 days.
The department of family welfare had given the work of upgradation of 89 district hospitals, which included construction of modular operation theatres and purchase of medical equipment, to PACCFED which, in turn, contracted it to three private firms, two at Moradabad and one of Gajraula, owned by Saurabh Jain.
PACCFED officials released an advance of Rs 40 crore to the firms even before awarding the contract. Shukla, as principal secretary of health and family welfare and mission director of NRHM, was involved