Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday defended the removal of AIIMS Chief Vigilance Officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, saying he was “not eligible” for the post.
“He was not at all eligible for the post that he was holding at AIIMS. We were informed that without the approval of the CVC, nobody can be assigned the post of CVO anywhere. This was brought to our notice, we took cognizance of the same and removed him,” he said.
Chaturvedi was removed from his post on Wednesday with the ministry citing no reason for the decision though internal documents show BJP MP J P Nadda had been pushing for Chaturvedi’s removal. The charge of his office has been assigned to joint secretary and CVO of Health Ministry Vishwas Mehta. The tenure of Chaturvedi, a Haryana cadre forest service officer of 2002 batch, was fixed for four years and was to have lasted till June 2016.
The Aam Aadmi Party, on the other hand, demanded the resignation from Harsh Vardhan. A statement issued by the party said that failing this, PM Narendra Modi should sack the minister for shunting out the “whistleblower officer”.
“Chaturvedi had recommended CBI probe in scams involving top officials of AIIMS. Dr Harsh Vardhan’s action flies directly in the face of the Prime Minister’s recent statement that he will not allow anyone to indulge in corruption and loot,” it said.