Najeeb Jung asks Vigilance to probe ‘illegal appointment’ of health minister’s OSD

The Lt Governor’s office has also asked the department to seek legal opinion on whether financial losses caused by the “illegal” appointments of Aggarwal could be recovered.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published:October 21, 2016 5:04 am
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung

The office of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has written to Delhi government’s vigilance department to probe the appointments of Nikunj Aggarwal — first as a senior resident doctor and later as Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s officer on special duty (OSD).

The Lt Governor’s office has also asked the department to seek legal opinion on whether financial losses caused by the “illegal” appointments of Aggarwal could be recovered.

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The files on Aggarwal’s appointments had been sent to the Lt Governor’s office after scrutiny by Delhi government officials.

It is learnt that the vigilance department has been asked whether salary, perks and travel costs incurred by Aggarwal’s appointment could be recovered. The vigilance department has been directed to seek the opinion of the law department on the issue.

Sources claimed that Aggarwal was appointed in violation of regulations, adding that the Delhi Chief Secretary had even made observations on Aggarwal’s file on due process not being followed.

“There was no advertisement in the media for the post of senior resident. No interviews were conducted. Such an appointment requires the constitution of a selection committee, but in Aggarwal’s case, only a hand written note to the director of Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya (CNBC) was sent, and within four days, he was appointed,” said a senior official. According to sources, the letter was written on August 8, 2015, and was approved on August 10, 2015.

However, Aggarwal, who continues to be the health minister’s OSD, told The Indian Express that the appointments were justified. “There was a vacant seat in CNBC and I gave an application for that seat. I was hired on an ad hoc basis. Interviews and advertisements are issued when the appointment is made on a regular basis,” he said

A senior official at CNBC said that sometimes, senior resident doctors are appointed on an ad hoc basis to meet manpower demands.

Sources said Aggarwal worked at the hospital for a short while before he was transferred as OSD to the health minister.

When contacted, Jain refused to comment on the issue.