Nitish under scanner for over-priced drug buy

The Bihar government’s decision to procure drugs and surgical equipment allegedly at higher rates has come under the scanner of the Supreme Court which on Friday sought response on a plea to direct an independent probe into financial irregularities.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice R M Lodha issued notices to the state government and Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL), which was alleged to have procured the over-priced drugs and equipment for use in government health centres and public hospitals.

The petition filed through advocate Ajay Kumar Singh alleged that the BMSICL ignored the standards set by the Bihar State Health Society formed to oversee better implementation of the National Rural Health Mission in purchase in the period of 2013-14.

The special leave petition was filed by Darbhanga resident Mohd Sahanwaz Ali against the Patna High Court’s July 24 order, refusing independent probe into the matter.

The comparative charts of prices showed a huge difference (more than 100 per cent  in some cases) in rate charts of BMSICL and state health society.

“The trust of public at large would be eroded by purchase and procurement of sub-quality drugs and surgical instruments and that too at higher rates by the BMSICL,” the petitioner claimed.

He also submitted that the then chief minister Nitish Kumar was holding the portfolio of health ministry.

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