UP dilly-dallying prosecution of NRHM accused

CBI request is yet to be considered

Notwithstanding its commitment to fight corruption, the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh has maintained uncertainity on granting sanction for prosecution of the doctors, who are accused in the multi-crore NRHM scam and against whom the CBI has been preparing to file a chargesheet in the court.

According to sources in the health department, the CBI sought permission to prosecute around 100 doctors, who were directly or indirectly involved in the scam, from the state government almost a month back but the sanction has not been granted so far.

The Central Bureau of Investigation’s  request has been doing the rounds of different departments without any result.

In the beginning, the government had said that the health department was considering central investigating agency’s request. But later on it pleaded that the matter had been referred to the law department for its opinion. Now the officials say that the matter is with the advocate general.

“Without sanction not only the probe is getting adversely affected but it has also brought the process of filing chargesheet against the doctors to a halt,” sources said.

Health minister Ahmed Hasan had recently said the government would not shield any corrupt doctor and permission for the sanction would be given but nothing happened.

The law department officials said many of the accused might be acquitted as there was no solid evidence against them. “Prosecution sanction will be given only for those against whom there is credible evidence,” they pointed out.

As many as six health officials, connected in one way or the other with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), including two chief medical officers, have either been killed or died under mysterious circumstances in different parts of the state since the scam came to light in October 2010.

Taking action in this regard,  chief minister Mayawati had sacked two ministers – health minister Anant Mishra and family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha. Former CM’s close aide, Kushwaha, who was later arrested, claimed innocence and said he would ‘bare’ everything soon.

The NRHM scheme was launched in 2005 with the objective of strengthening health services in the rural areas.

The funds were to be used to construct health centres in rural areas, ensure stock of medicines and working equipment. A CAG report says that close to Rs 5,000 crore has gone missing in UP.

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