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SC's chiding puts CBI in gear, charge-sheet filed against Pradeep Shukla

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Published on: Tue, 04 Dec 2012 at 11:37 IST
SC's chiding puts CBI in gear, charge-sheet filed against Pradeep Shukla
LUCKNOW: Akhilesh led state government is quite benignant at IAS Pradeep Shukla, the prime accused of the NRHM scam. Drifting unrestricted on bail, the IAS is suspected to have gulped Rs 89 Crore. Lately, CBI filed a charge-sheet against Pradeep, a dear bureaucrat to the SP government, which never wanted him to be prosecuted. Although, CBI jailed several accused in the case but they all were out on bail since CBI failed to provide appropriate evidences to the court.

CBI filed the chargesheet in the case where renovation of 89 hospitals had to take place, in which apart from DG Family Welfare SP Ram, Director of Moradabad based firm, Saurabh Jain and another director of Gajraula based firm took the contract; they were specified as the key accused. CBI said that three firms banked big money in the renovation and construction of modular OTs (operation theatres). Saurabh Jain and Dr SP Jain are currently in jail; Saurabh Jain was a close associate to former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha

Apart from Shukla, many senior officers like former PACCFED MD, VK Chaudhary, Chief Engineer MM Tripathi, Superintendent Engineer AK Srivastava, Assistant Engineer Vipul Kumar Gupta, who are the key suspects, are currently out on bail. The chargesheets are as below:
On April 3, for the scam in renovation of 134 hospitals
On April 4, against Director General Family Welfare SP Ram and owner of Moradabad farm, Saurabh Jain
On May 31, against Babu Singh Kushwaha and RP Jaiswal
On September 7, in the ambulance case

Pradeep Shukla enjoyed liberty in Mayawati ruled BSP government and that liberty is extended to the Akhilesh government as well. According to our sources, it is being docketed that there is no boil in the case. It is also said that government was deliberately slow in suspending Pradeep Shukla and they acted only after court’s tarnation. Supreme Court too slammed CBI over the same. The SC bench, noting CBI, said, "Why are you begging the state government? Seeing your attitude, it is clear that the decision taken by High Court is correct and this case should be sent back to the High Court."

In the case, Allahabad High Court in reference to cancelling the FIR against Pradeep Shukla, the petition was converted to PIL, under Section 482 and the case was given to CBI. The agency wrote a permission seeking letter to DOPT in August and is still waiting for the answer, even when it is clear that CBI is investigating the case by orders from court then why the need for permission from state government?

The Supreme Court is hearing the PIL case of Pradeep Shukla who has appealed to cancel his case. On agency’s request, SC proscribed the petition on September 26, after which CBI expressed that it is Ministry of Personnel and Central Vigilance Department who give the authority to carry on the probe, but again, High Court blamed investigating agency for the slowdown.

Against the interference of the High Court, CBI highlighted the fact to the Supreme Court in its petition against the High Court which states that HC has no right to question the agency in the arrest of accused, clearly asserting that CBI is not guilty here. So far, CBI has been able to recover Rs 1.6 Crore, another Rs 14.8 Crore have been seized from the bank accounts and a fraudulent payment of Rs 40 Crore has also been acknowledged.

The lingering of CBI only proved a benefiting factor to these senior officials. There are still several bureaucrats and ministers who inked the scam, are far from the CBI radar and if the agency continues to carry on the investigation with the same pace then scammers will evidently find a way to the shore.
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