September 22, 2013 12:43:10 am
CBI officers raided the office and residence of a senior official in charge of security at AIIMS on Saturday,over alleged irregularities in the allotment of contracts to a particular security agency.
The agency registered a case against AIIMS deputy security officer Rajeev Lochan and the owner of a Janakpuri-based private security agency Prehari Protection Services Kamaljit Singh on the basis of the findings of a year-long internal vigilance inquiry of the institute.
The agency has registered a case of cheating and forgery and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act. According to sources,the AIIMS vigilance inquiry was conducted on the basis of a complaint sent to the institute in 2012. This inquiry found several manipulations in the comparative statements in the tendering process that took place in 2009-10,and other favours which resulted in a loss of around Rs 1 crore to the exchequer. Sources said records had also been allegedly fudged to show hundreds of ghost security employees,whose salaries were being drawn from the institute.
Salaries were being drawn for about 1,000 security staff members when their actual number was less than 100, a source said.
The institute filed a separate complaint with the Delhi Police after it found that attendance registers for security guards had disappeared,with no trace of records from 2009-10. Police had registered an FIR for the missing registers in November 2012.
The FIR was registered only after the vigilance inquiry was initiated,before that there was no record of these files having disappeared, a source said. Efforts to install a biometric attendance system for the security staff have been repeatedly stalled at AIIMS.
Sources said financial service benefits such as provident fund had allegedly been maintained only on paper,with no security guard getting the benefits for years. The security guards union had gone to court against this,and about a month ago,AIIMS had to make a payment of Rs 2 crore to cover all the withheld benefits, an official said.
Sources said evidence had also been presented to the nodal security agency against other senior administrative officials who had been part of AIIMS then. They may also be investigated.
Sources said there were irregularities in the purchase of equipment maintained by security staff.
The findings were forwarded to CBI for initiating criminal proceedings,while the Central Vigilance Commission was notified for administrative action. CBI has questioned Lochan and sources said he would soon be called for examination again.
Documents relating to the charges mentioned in the FIR have been recovered, a CBI spokesperson said.
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