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Senior health services official arrested for corruption

Staff Reporter

The police still assessing the amount involved, more arrests likely

NEW DELHI: The Additional Director-General of Health Services was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government on Wednesday on charges of corruption during his tenure as Medical Superintendent of JP Hospital here in 2002-03. The police are assessing the amount involved in the corruption.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Anti-Corruption), Bhairon Singh Gurjar, a complaint in this regard was lodged last year alleging that R.K. Naulakha, the former medical superintendent of LNJP Hospital, had made money through procurement of medical items in excess of the original demand and also on prices much above their standard costs. The case was lodged after a special audit committee set up for the purpose pointed out the irregularities in the procurements.

Subsequently, the Anti-Corruption Branch was handed over the investigations. During the probe, the police learnt that during Dr. Naulakha's tenure, items like catheter, starch-bandages, oxygen masks and micro-tapes were procured more than the demand placed by the departments concerned.

In case of catheter, 2,000 pieces instead of the order for 200 had been bought allegedly by forging the requirement list. When the issue came to the notice of the head of paediatrics department, he lodged a protest with the medical superintendent. But, the matter was then brushed under the carpet.

The police found out that while the Central Procurement Agency, which fixes the standard price of medical accessories and equipment for strict adherence by hospitals, had quoted the standard cost of starch bandages at Rs. 40.50 per piece, but LNJP Hospital -- during Dr. Naulakha's tenure -- had allegedly bought it for Rs. 216. Stating that in some cases, items were purchased despite their availability in abundance in the hospital stores, Mr. Gurjar said the procurement of the medical accessories at Dr. Naulakha's instance ran in crores.

After gathering sufficient evidence, the Anti-Corruption Branch summoned Dr. Naulakha for questioning on Wednesday and arrested him subsequently.

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