HP govt re­places health di­rec­tor ac­cused of graft

IN JU­DI­CIAL CUS­TODY Au­dio had sur­faced on Wed­nes­day in which he was pur­port­edly heard seek­ing a bribe of ₹5 lakh

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Front Page - Gau­rav Bisht gau­rav.bisht@htlive.com

SHIMLA: Ar­rested for his al­leged in­volve­ment in ₹5-lakh graft case, Hi­machal Pradesh’s for­mer di­rec­tor of health ser­vices Dr Ajay Gupta with­drew his bail pe­ti­tion filed be­fore a lo­cal court here on Fri­day.

The Hi­machal govern­ment has ap­pointed Bharat Bushan Ka­toch as the new health di­rec­tor. Gupta was ar­rested by the vig­i­lance and anti-cor­rup­tion bu­reau on Wed­nes­day night and was later sus­pended.

Soon af­ter the at­tor­neys of the Anti-Cor­rup­tion and Vig­i­lance Bu­reau ar­gued for the re­jec­tion of Gupta’s bail plea, he with­drew the pe­ti­tion from the court. Dr Ajay Gupta was re­manded in 5-day ju­di­cial cus­tody by the court on Thurs­day.

SHIMLA: Ar­rested for his al­leged in­volve­ment in ₹5 lakh graft case, Hi­machal Pradesh’s di­rec­tor of health ser­vices Dr Ajay Gupta with­drew his bail pe­ti­tion filed be­fore a lo­cal court here on Fri­day.

He was ar­rested by the vig­i­lance and anti-cor­rup­tion bu­reau on Wed­nes­day night and was later sus­pended.

Soon af­ter the at­tor­neys of the Anti-Cor­rup­tion and Vig­i­lance Bu­reau ar­gued for the re­jec­tion of Gupta’s bail plea, he with­drew the pe­ti­tion from the court.

“Af­ter hear­ing the ar­gu­ments/ replies of the pros­e­cu­tor, the coun­sel of the ac­cused pre­ferred to with­draw the bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

The ac­cused re­mains in ju­di­cial cus­tody,” said ad­di­tional di­rec­tor-gen­eral of po­lice Anurag Garg.

His ar­rest on Wed­nes­day night came fol­low­ing the sur­fac­ing of an au­dio in which he was pur­port­edly heard seek­ing a bribe of ₹5 lakh.

Searches were con­ducted in the of­fice and res­i­dence of Ajay Gupta un­der the su­per­vi­sion of SP SIU Shalini Ag­ni­hotri and cer­tain doc­u­ments were seized per­tain­ing to var­i­ous pur­chases made by the health depart­ment. He has been placed un­der sus­pen­sion by the state govern­ment.

The doc­tor was re­manded in 5-day ju­di­cial cus­tody by the court on Thurs­day.

The Hi­machal govern­ment had ap­pointed Bharat Bushan Ka­toch as the new di­rec­tor of health ser­vices.

The vig­i­lance sleuths also iden­ti­fied the other per­son who was in con­ver­sa­tion with Gupta in the au­dio clip. He is stated to be a sup­plier of med­i­cal prod­ucts based in Chandigarh.

Mean­while, the op­po­si­tion Congress tar­geted chief min­is­ter Jai Ram Thakur and al­leged that the top lead­er­ship in the state was in­volved in the scam.

Congress leader Kuldeep Singh Rathore said that the CM is un­der pres­sure as top lead­ers of his party are in­volved in the scam.

The state Congress chief while ad­dress­ing the me­dia in Shimla on Fri­day de­manded that the CM who also holds home port­fo­lio and health to broaden the scope of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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