JEHANGIR ALI | 20 MAY, 2015
“Pack Your Bags And Go”: J&K CM And Baig Publicly Tell Scam Tainted Official
SRINAGAR : The Jammu and Kashmir government has shunted a senior officer of the Health department who is facing a vigilance inquiry in the multi-million 'Drug Kit Scam', a top government source said.
Saleem-ur-Rehman, who was serving as the Directorate of Health Services for Kashmir region, was removed from his post Monday evening, following a dressing-down by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and PDP's Lok Sabha MP, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, at a function in Baramulla last Saturday.
CM Sayeed and Baig had visited the Baramulla district hospital town to attend a function when Rehman showed up and greeted them. When the Chief Minister asked around who he was, Rehman introduced himself.
On this, Baig told him to "pack his bags" and "get a bail."
A source said Rehman, who has a controversial past, was not even allowed to explain the action plan for the proposed medical college in Baramulla which was, instead, presented by the medical superintendent of Baramulla district hospital.
Known for his association with a senior Congress leader from the state who was also a Union Cabinet Minister, Rehman was embarrassed by the events and sat in his car all alone for the rest of the day.
A top government official said the State Vigilance Organisation, which registered a case under Prevention of Corruption Act (FIR No 19/2011), and another in 2012, in the 'Drug Kit Scam', has been asked to wrap up investigations and the noose may tighten around Rehman as well.
The scam dates back to the year 2011 when millions of rupees were spent for the purchase of drugs by the Directorate of Health Services, allegedly in violation of the conditions of supply order and guidelines of the government.
The cash for making purchases was released to the state by the Centre under the UPA government's flagship program, National Rural Health Mission, when Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad was the Health Minister.
The source said that a majority of drug kits were purchased from a private firm whereas in supply order, it was mandatory that all drugs should be supplied by central pharmaceutical subsidiary enterprises.
Investigations had also revealed that several purchased drugs were not included in the approved list of 103 medicines that was against the Purchase Preference Policy (PPP) of the government of India.
"Doctor Saleem, in order to facilitate the commission of the crime, constituted a purchase committee on his own ignoring the central purchase committee/ subcommittee already constituted by the government for the purpose. Despite his involvement in a grave crime, he was shielded by his political masters in the previous government (led by Omar Abdullah)," President of Doctors Association of Kashmir, Nissar-ul-Hassan, said.