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Joint drug controller detained by CBI in bribery case, Biocon Biologics executive among booked

Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon Biologics reject charge: Meeting minutes in public domain.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
Updated: June 21, 2022 7:04:16 am
It is alleged that Jha was extending favours to Tata Projects in various projects in return of illicit payment, they said.

The CBI Monday detained a Joint Drug Controller of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and the Director of a Delhi-based private company while they were allegedly exchanging bribe money of Rs 4 lakh.

The agency also booked three others including an Associate Vice President of Biocon Biologics Ltd, a company founded by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, claiming that bribe money was being paid to get regulatory clearance for an insulin injection manufactured by the company — a charge Mazumdar-Shaw and Biocon Biologics rejected.

Officers of the CBI identified the detained men as S Eswara Reddy, Joint Drug Controller posted at the CDSCO headquarters in New Delhi, and Dinesh Dua, Director of Synergy Network India Pvt Ltd.

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The others booked in the case are L Praveen Kumar, Associate Vice President and Head — National Regulatory Affairs of Biocon Biologics Ltd; Guljit Sethi alias Guljit Chaudhary, Director of Bioinnovat Research Services Private Limited, Delhi; and, CDSCO Assistant Drug Inspector Animesh Kumar.

“It was alleged that the accused was trying to exert undue influence on officers of CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) under Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (GOI), Delhi to waive the Phase III trial of ‘Insulin Aspart Injection’,” a CBI spokesperson said.

“It was further alleged that the accused agreed to pay bribe amount of Rs 9 lakh to JDC, CDSCO for favourably processing the said three files related to private company based at Bangalore and also for favourably recommending the file of ‘Insulin Aspart injection’ to the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) meeting,” the spokesperson said.

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CBI officers claimed a trap was laid and Reddy was caught allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 4 lakh from Dua. “Searches were conducted at 11 places located at Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Patna, Bengaluru which led to recovery of incriminating documents/articles,” a CBI statement said.

CBI officers claimed Bioinnovat Research Services Private Limited had been asked to get regulatory clearance for the Biocon product. Bioinnovate, in turn, engaged Synergy Network to get the work done, the officers claimed. “Dua, who negotiated and paid the bribe, is Synargy’s Director. Both Reddy and Dua are under detention and are being questioned,” a CBI officer said.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Biocon Biologics rejected the CBI claims.

Mazumdar-Shaw said, “We deny the bribery allegations. All our product approvals are legitimate and backed by science and clinical data. Our bAspart is approved in Europe and many other countries. The regulatory process in India is online and all meeting minutes are in public domain.”

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A similar statement was issued by the spokesperson of Biocon Biologics. “All our product approvals are legitimate and backed by science and clinical data. Our bAspart is approved in Europe and many other countries. We follow due regulatory process for all our product approvals by DCGI. The entire application process in India is online and all meeting minutes are in public domain. We are cooperating with the investigation agency,” the spokesperson said.

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First published on: 21-06-2022 at 12:03:52 am
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