NEW DELHI: A Parliamentary panel has strongly deprecated the "non-serious" approach of the Union Health Ministry in tackling a "large" number of corruption cases at the AIIMS here and recommended that the post of a regular Chief Vigilance Officer at the premier institute be restored.
The department-related Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare has also asked the Ministry to play a "proactive" role in ensuring expeditious investigations into all the corruption cases at AIIMS New Delhi and produce an up-to-date status note within three months.
"The committee is perturbed to note that despite unravelling of corruption cases at AIIMS at regular intervals, the Ministry has done away with the regular Chief Vigilance Officer's post at AIIMS and the role of the anti-graft officer at AIIMS has been assigned to a Joint secretary and CVO in the Health Ministry.
"Evidently the Ministry appears to be non-serious in the tackling of corruption at AIIMS. The committee therefore strongly deprecates the non-serious approach of the Ministry towards tackling such a large number of cases of corruption at AIIMS and recommends that the Ministry should quickly move towards appointing a regular CVO of unblemished credentials at AIIMS," the committee, chaired by Satish Chandra Misra, said.
The committee also said that it was needless to emphasise that the CVO is the only instrument available with the Ministry to monitor statutory compliance of various prescribed procedures and norms.
Whistleblower Indian Forest Officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi came in spotlight after being removed from the post of the CVO, which acts as a distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission, last year at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for allegedly exposing corruption at the prestigious institute.
He was recently named as one of the winners of Ramon Magsaysay Award for 2015.
"The committee also recommends the Ministry to play a proactive role in ensuring expeditious investigations into all the corruption cases at AIIMS and furnish within three months from the date of presentation of this report...
"...an up-to-date status note detailing therein various stages of cases of investigation, involving corrupt practices and embezzlement of funds and steps taken to check occurrence of such cases in the future," the committee said.
The committee noted that myriad corruption cases are under investigations involving AIIMS officials and doctors which include disproportionate asset cases, procurement of computers and peripherals without following the purchase procedure, alleged financial irregularities in purchase of surgical gloves and medicines and others.
The cases also include construction of engineering works without approval of the statutory bodies, alleged tampering with selection list of operation theatre assistants, irregularities in appointment of officials under sports quota, massive irregular payment to contractors,
irregularities in awarding work for development of ward and allied spaces for department of Pulmonary medicine and others.