Doctors involved in machine purchase scam at IGIMS

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Patna, Mar 13 (UNI) The State Vigilance Department has unearthed a scam involving senior doctors and personnel of the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) here in the purchase of equipment.

The Vigilance Investigation Bureau lodged an FIR last week against IGIMS Director Dr D K Yadav, the then Head of the department of Opthalmology Dr Mahesh Chandra, the then IGIMS Director Dr P C Choudhry, doctors in the Eye department Dr Mrinal Anand and Dr Subhash Prasad and IGIMS Finance advisor S R Gyene, charging them with fraud and forgery, resulting in misappropriation of funds.

Responsible for the acquisition of an 'eximer laser', used in eye treatment, the accused had bought a second-hand and non-functional machine from Bangalore-based Ganbel Medimart, against the recommendations of the external expert and financial advisers.

Cases had also been lodged against T Chidambaran, president of the firm and its agent here, Neel Mohan, who is related to one of the doctors on the purchase committee.

As per the investigation report submitted by the bureau, the purchase committee of IGIMS with Dr Yadav, Dr Chandra, Dr Anand, Dr Prasad, Dr Choudhry and Mr Gyene as its members gave green signal to purchase the machine from Ganbel, which had quoted Rs 1,32,23,430 for the equipment.

However, Dr Supriya Ghosh, of Eye department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi had advised them to purchase the machine from K L B Nietek, New Delhi, which had quoted Rs 1,23,60,320, a lower price compared to other bidders. Meanwhile, financial experts, examing the balance sheet and income clearance certificate of the supplier company had advised the purchase committee of the IGIMS to avoid entering into any deal with the company, following its dismal financial condition.

Overlooking the suggestions, the committee went ahead with the deal and the machine landed in the IGIMS in 1999, where it was found to be a second hand, non-functional machine, which was severely damaged.

The inspection committee declared it useless as it was still non operational.

In course of investigation, it was found that the alleged manufacturing firm had stopped manufacturing the equipment since 1997. Later on recomendations of Financial Advisor of the IGIMS Mr Gyene, the then director of the institute Dr Choudhry made a payment of Rs 80 lakh, 60 per cent of the total amount in the agreement to manufaturing firm, Laser Site Technology, USA.

Instead of returning the junked machine, Dr Choudhry hired an engineer from Ganbel and got its damaged parts changed.

The report said that the doctors and authorities of the IGIMS and the concerned company connived and caused a heavy loss to the tune of crore of rupees to the state government through the deal made by flouting rules and regulations.

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