No chargesheet so Shukla gets bail in NRHM scam

CBI says it could not file chargesheet as Centre did not give sanction for IAS officer’s prosecution within stipulated period

Written by Express News Service | Ghaziabad | Published: August 9, 2012 1:54:42 am

A SPECIAL CBI court on Wednesday granted bail to Pradeep Shukla,who is an accused in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh. The senior bureaucrat got the relief after the agency failed to file its chargesheet against him within the stipulated 90 days.

Special CBI Judge A K Singh granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and two sureties of Rs 5 lakh each. CBI sources said the agency did not file the chargesheet because the Centre did not accord sanction for his prosecution.

The investigation agency said it had sought sanction of prosecution against Shukla,the 1981-batch IAS officer of the UP cadre,a month back from the Department of Personnel and Training. However,the agency did not receive the sanction within 90 days and could not file a chargesheet against him.

The former health secretary was arrested by CBI in May this year after the agency claimed that it had sufficient evidence against Shukla in the multi-crore scam.

Meanwhile,the Akhilesh Yadav government has been sitting on the CBI request seeking sanction for the prosecution of 20 doctors and two clerks of the Family Welfare Department in the NRHM scam since May.

Sources in the agency said it cannot file the chargesheet against these persons only because of the delay by the state government. After sending the request,the CBI investigating officer has visited senior government officials several times,but each time he was told that the government was seeking legal opinion.

The doctors face charges of sanctioning payments on fake bills of vehicles which actually were not hired,issuing fake fuel bills for ambulances,procuring substandard medical equipment and medicines at high rates,and sanctioning payments to private firms and the contractors for publicity materials for various NRHM schemes,which were never printed or distributed.

— With ens,Lucknow

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