The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has issued notices to health departments of the Central and state governments, the Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society and the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on a public interest litigation alleging registration of fake AIDS patients by NGOs to corner huge government funds meant for their treatment. The petition filed by Mohammad Waseem Sheikh and four others from Buldhana has demanded a CBI probe into what it alleges to be a scam running into several crores of rupees.
The bench comprising Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice V M Deshpande heard the petition that cited the example of a Buldhana woman who was allegedly registered by NGO Matrubhoomi Foundation as an AIDS patient despite being “completely healthy”.
It alleged that the NGO had forged the woman’s signatures and cornered money from the state government. The woman had lodged the complaint last year against Matrubhoomi Foundation with the Buldhana police.
The petition also demanded that attaching photograph of the patient and taking his or her thumb impression be made compulsory.
The state and the Central governments spend thousands of crores on AIDS awareness programmes and has entrusted several NGOs with the task of detecting and registering AIDS patients under the awareness mission.