The CBI on Thursday arrested IAS officer Pradeep Shukla in the multi-crore NRHM scam in UP. He was brought to Delhi and produced before a Ghaziabad court which remanded him in custody for seven days.
A former principal secretary of health and family welfare,Shukla was also mission director of NRHM from 2009 to 2011 when the scam took place. He is the 15th accused,and the second highest ranking after former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha,to be arrested in the case.
Shukla was called for interrogation at CBIs office in Delhi on Wednesday but he did not turn up,an official said. The CBI had on January 19 lodged four FIRs against Shukla and officials of Health and Family Welfare department,PACCFED,UP Projects Corporation Ltd and UP Small Industries Corporation. Shukla,a CBI official said,has been arrested in one of these cases construction of modular operation theatres and purchase of medical equipment for 89 district hospitals. Shukla allegedly played a key role in awarding the contract to CNC Metal Framing Co,owned by businessman Saurabh Jain.
Investigations so far have shown irregularities in the upgradation of the 89 hospitals caused the exchequer a loss of Rs 22 crore,but the final figure may be much higher,the official said. The total amount allocated for the project was Rs 89 crore.
PACCFED,a government-owned co-operative,was given the job. In turn,it gave contracts to three private firms two at Moradabad and one in Gajraula. PACCFED officials released an advance payment of Rs 40 crore to the firms even before awarding the contract.
Shukla,then principal secretary of Health and Family Welfare and mission director,was involved in the award of contracts and made advance payments in violation of norms,said a CBI official.