NEW DELHI: In a fresh development in National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation had decided to question former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati in connection with embezzlement of funds in the implementation the heath mission.
Sources in the CBI said BSP supremo Mayawati will be called for questioning in connection with the case soon at CBI headquarter in Delhi. Mayawati was at the helm of affairs in Uttar Pradesh from 2007 to 12 during which the scam took place.
“She will be questioned to unearth the larger conspiracy of the Rs 10,000 crore scam,” said the source adding that the investigative officers have got approval from CBI top officers. The sources also said that agency to summon Mayawati this week.
She will be called for examination as investigative officers needs some clarification on funding of some projects under NRHM in which some top officials, including the then Principal Secretary, Health, Pradeep Shukla has been charged by the agency.
Many politicians, government officials and private persons were involved in the scam. A former UP cabinet minister during the BSP rule Babu Singh Kushwaha was arrested on March 3, 2012 and is still languishing in jail. Kushwaha has recently moved the apex court seeking bail, which was dismissed on February 13, with the court saying the allegations against him were very serious and it was a "good case for dismissal".
The agency had filed 74 cases related to the scam and so far has filed charge sheets in 48 cases.
As many as six people had died or were allegedly murdered in an attempt to cover up the large-scale irregularities in the case.
The issue of financial irregularities in NRHM funds came to light when the murder of two Chief Medical Officers of Family welfare -- Dr V K Arya in 2010 and Dr B P Singh in 2011 – surfaced and deputy Chief Medical Officer Y.S. Sachan was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the district jail of Lucknow.
The NRHM funds to the tune of about Rs 10,000 crore were allocated to the Uttar Pradesh for period 2005 to 2011 by the Union Health Ministry. The funds were spent through 72 Chief Medical Officers in UP and other nodal offices across UP under the various schemes approved by Central government involving a large number of beneficiaries. A number of these works have been executed through several State PSUs and large number of contractors and firms.
The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court in 2011 directed the CBI to probe the murder of Sachan and investigate the irregularities in implementation of the NRHM.
A Special Investigation Team comprising of 26 investigating officers including five superintendents of Police under the overall supervision of Additional Director, Joint Director and two DIGs are probing the scam. The investigation team is also assisted by experts from banking, accountancy, engineering works and computer forensics and officers dealing with NRHM Scheme in Union Health Ministry.