IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI
(CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION)
WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. _____ OF 2015
IN THE MATTER OF:
CENTRE FOR PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION
UNION OF INDIA & ORS. …RESPONDENTS
[A WRIT PETITION IN PUBLIC INTEREST UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA SEEKING DIRECTION FOR EXPEDITIOUS INVESTIGATION OF CORRUPTION CASES BY THE CBI AS WELL AS OF THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS IN THE CASES REFERRED IN PARA NO. 16 OF THE PETITION AS WELL AS DIRECTION TO RESPONDENT NO. 3 TO RECUSE HIMSELF FROM ALL THESE CASES]
THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE OF DELHI AND HIS COMPANION JUDGES OF THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI, AT DELHI
The Humble Petition of
the Petitioner above named
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:
1. That the petitioner is filing the instant writ petition in public interest. The petitioner has no personal interest in the litigation and the petition is not guided by self-gain or for gain of any other person/institution/body and that there is no motive other than of public interest in filing the writ petition.
2. That the present writ petition is being filed in public interest under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), an autonomous institution, has been established to provide medical facilities at the highest level to the general public and also to provide opportunities for comprehensive research and also to function as centre for training and education of medical students. It is the premier medical institute of the country where thousands of patients flock daily to get treatment of serious ailments at the most affordable prices and to fulfil all these objectives, the institute gets generous budgetary support of thousands of crores of rupees every year, much more than many of central ministries.
However, in view of rising corruption cases in the institute, on the repeated insistence of Central Vigilance Commission and the concerns raised by senior parliamentarians/Standing Parliamentary Committee, a new Vigilance Administration was setup in the institute headed by a Chief Vigilance officer of Deputy Secretary/Director rank, under the provisions of AIIMS Act, 1956, with due approval of Standing Finance Committee (SFC), chaired by Respondent No. 1 and Governing Body (GB) and Institute Body (IB), both chaired by Union Health Minister,in the year 2012. Thereafter, actions were initiated by this new Vigilance Administration into the corruption cases inter alia relating to various malpractices including supply of dubious medicines by a private chemist shop, having influential political nexus, and opened into institute premises, middlemen in making fake out patient department (OPD) cards, irregularities and wastage in purchase of surgery equipments and other medical items, use of fake propriety certificates in purchases, irregularities in recruitments/appointments including consultants, irregularities in computerization/engineering works, irregularities and breach of confidentiality in exam process, unauthorized foreign visits of senior faculty members, accepting hospitality of private medical colleges by senior faculty members in violation of MCI regulations. This involvedsenior functionaries of the institute – the then Deputy Directors (Administration) (a post held by senior IAS/IPS officers), Head of Engineering Wing, Registrar, Chief Administrative officer and Senior faculty members. As a result, a determined campaign was initiated by these powerful vested interests for dismantling the newly setup vigilance administration so as to halt all these proceedings. Respondent No. 3, who was then a Member of Parliament, actively participated in this campaign by writing numerous letters to various Central Ministers from May 2013 to June 2014, and holding personal meetings with them in which he insistently demanded to put all such inquiries initiated into various corruption cases to be put on halt till the time new CVO as suggested by him is not appointed. Even the files related to the creation of the post of the CVO were made to disappear. Finally, under the relentless pressure/campaigning of Respondent No. 3, the entire bureaucracy of the Health Ministry was forced to takea complete U-turn in accepting his demands of dismantling the newly setup Vigilance Administration, on 14.08.2014, after the new regimetook over on 26 May 2014, though his same demands were categorically rejected by the same Health Secretary Sh. Luv Verma on 23.05.2014. On 10 November 2014, Respondent No. 3 was appointed as Health Minister, and is now having unfettered powers to influence the course of proceedings in all such corruption cases and has become the final disciplinary authority/Appellate Authority in all such cases, which he had himself demanded to be put on hold. Already review of certain sensitive corruption cases involving officials reportedly close to him has been initiated under Respondent No. 3 and in many other cases investigation have been slowed down. Any type of corruption in such a premier institute is likely to have direct and severe bearing on health and well being of thousands of patients visiting the institute and therefore, under these circumstances, the petitioner has no option left but to seek the indulgence of this Hon’ble Court. The Hon’ble Court, has already made similar interventions in the recent past involving the then CBI Director. The Petitioner, therefore, in the present petition is seeking the following reliefs:-
(i) A writ of mandamus or any other similar writ or direction for expeditious investigation of corruption cases by the CBI as well as of the disciplinary proceedings in the cases referred in para no. 16 of the petition, as recommended by Respondent No. 7 as the then CVO, AIIMS, as well as for status of pending departmental proceedings and also investigations by the CBI in the cases of irregularities, illegalities and corruption in the AIIMS; and
(ii) Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or direction of similar nature to direct Sh. J.P. Nadda, (Respondent No.3) to recuse himself from all the cases mentioned in para no. 16 of the Petition from acting as disciplinary authority/appellate authority as well as in all other cases, about which demand was made by him to withhold proceedings, vide his letter dated 24.06.2014 annexed as Annexure-P13; and
(iii) Issue directions to respondent No. 6 to initiate investigation into the issue of missing files and efforts to halt proceedings in the inquiry of all the corruption and related cases, as already demanded by the Standing Parliamentary Committee vide letter dated 06.06.2013 annexed as Annexure-P12.
That the petitioner CPIL is a registered society(No.S-14654). It is a non-profit body. The petitioner society is a public interest organization which has been in the vanguard of the campaign for public probity in public life and integrity in institution. Over the years, it has earned a reputation and credibility for its initiatives in public interest litigation. Ms. Kamini Jaisawal, General Secretary of the organzation, is authorized to file this petition. The requisite certificate & authority letter are filed along with vakalatnama. The petitioner has means to pay if any cost is imposed by the Hon’ble High Court.
Its founder President was Late Shri V.M. Tarkunde and its Executive Committee consists of several senior Advocates including Shri F.S. Nariman, Shri Shanti Bhushan, Shri Anil Divan, Shri Rajinder Sacchar, and others. The Petitioner has earlier filed several important public interest petitions including one challenging the allotment of oil and gas dealership through the discretionary quota of the Minister as well as through the Oil Selection Board. The Petitioner had also challenged the transfer of developed oil fields of Panna&Mukta from ONGC to Reliance and Enron. The Petitioner has also successfully challenged the Government’s decision to disinvest and privatise the Government Oil Companies without seeking Parliamentary approval. The Petitioner had also filed a Petition seeking comprehensive administrative guidelines for securing the citizens’ right to information. The Petitioner also filed several other petitions on important issues of public interest like on the health hazards of consumption of Soft Drinks due to the chemical additives present in them. Recently, the Petitioner has successfully filed PILs raising the issue of coal scam and scam in allotment of 2 G spectrum in which Court monitored CBI investigation was directed by this Hon’ble Court. It also successfully challenged the illegal appointment of Mr. P. J. Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner.
The petitioner has no personal interest, or private/oblique motive in filling the instant petition. There is no civil, criminal, revenue or any litigation involving the petitioner which has or could have a legal nexus with the issues involved in the PIL.
The petitioner society has not made any representation to the authorities owing to the urgency of the issue.
3. That most of the documents annexed with the present writ petition are in public domain. They have been obtained through media or under the RTI Act.
Brief facts of the case:
4. That the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is an autonomous institution established under AIIMS Act, 1956. It was established by an Act of Parliament with a view to have an autonomous professional body at the apex to lead the health sector in the Country as a torchbearer. Copy of the relevant notifications under AIIMS Act, 1956, regarding the disciplinary proceedings, is annexed hereto as Annexure P1 (from page no. ____ to _____).
5. That thousands of patients flock daily to get treatment of serious ailments at the most affordable prices, in the Institute. As per studies conducted by the institute, around 8-10 thousand patients visit the institute daily. The institute has a huge establishment having around ten thousand permanent employees and around three thousand five hundred contractual employees. The institute also receives generous financial support from the Central Government and the present annual budgetary support is around 1400 crore rupees, which is even larger than budget of many of central ministries. Out of this budgetary support, a huge amount consisting of hundreds of crores of rupees is spent on various purchases of medical equipments and medicines required for the treatments of patients. Besides this, a very ambitious expansion plan of the institute is undergoing in the main campus as well as in the second campus at Jhajjar in Haryana, of around 3800 crore rupees including construction of the biggest cancer facility of the country, National Cancer Institute. The institute also conducts its own in house recruitment of hundreds of faculty/staff in various categories, and also conducts the MBBS, MD & DM examinations which are ranked as most prestigious and competitive medical examination of the country.
ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW VIGILANCE ADMINISTRATION
6. That the role of CVO is nodal in any organization as far as action against corruption is concerned not only for the purpose of departmental proceedings but also for making references to the CBI for criminal investigation. In view of rising corruption cases in the Institute, on the insistence of Central Vigilance Commission, in accordance with procedure as per rule 6(2)(c) of AIIMS Rules, 1958, regarding the creation of a new post, in the 195th meeting of Standing Finance Committee (SFC) held on 20.07.2010, chaired by Respondent No. 1, proposal for creation of a new post of CVO was considered and it was decided to make the officer joining at the newly created post of Deputy Secretary/Director Rank as the CVO of the Institute,which was subsequently approved by the Governing Body (GB) and the Institute Body (IB), both chaired by the Union Health Minister in the month of November, 2010 and January, 2012. The same was committed before the Standing Parliamentary Committee also on 08.06.2012 by the Respondent No. 1. The minutes of decision taken by SFC, GB& IB are annexed as Annexure-P2 (from page no. ____ to _____), P3 (from page no. ____ to _____) &P4(from page no. ____ to_____)respectively. The fact that these approvals/commitments were given, has been further confirmed by Respondent No. 1 in his file noting dated 23.05.2014 and the same is annexed as Annexure-P5 (from page no. ____ to _____). This arrangement was also sanctioned by the CVC vide communication dated 04.10.2012 to the Institute, to keep the newly appointed CVO independent and away from tender/procurement works, as per para 2.9 of Vigilance Manual/DoPT Instructions and by displaying his name as CVO, AIIMS on the CVC website. A copy of the communication dated 04.10.2012 of CVC is annexed as Annexure-P6 (from page no. ____ to _____). Earlier, the officer incharge of Administration of the Institute, also used to head the Vigilance Administration, in clear cut conflict of interest as the same officer dealing with tender/procurement/recruitment etc. was supposed to later on sit as Judge to deal with complaints on these issues.Thus, for the first time a Vigilance Administration came into being in the institute which was free from earlier conflicts of interests, was in conformity with Vigilance Manual in keeping away the CVO from Vigilance sensitive works and had all the statutory approvals under provisions of AIIMS Act, 1956 apart from approval of Parliamentary Committee. The officer appointed on this post had a credible track record of anticorruption actions.
7. That, because of the actions of Respondent no. 7, immediately after the establishment of new setup, against very powerful vested interests including a private chemist shop located within the institute premises and selling spurious medicines, against whom Delhi Police had also registered an FIR under NDPS Act, 1985 (FIR No. 72 dated 21.04.2013 by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police) attempts were made to shift the officer to AYUSH Department (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy). However, the same were foiled by the intervention of Civil Services Board (CSB) chaired by the Cabinet Secretary and the Standing Parliamentary Committee. Even the Prime Minister office issued instructions not to shift Respondent No. 7 without personal scrutiny by the Cabinet Secretary. The copy of the notices issued to the said chemist shop alongwith the investigation report of the respondent no. 7 is annexed as Annexure-P7(colly) (page no. ____ to _____) and the copy of the reference made by Delhi Police against the said shop is annexed asAnnexure-P8(colly) (page no. ____ to _____). The copy of the communication dated 16.9.2012 issued by the Civil Services Board is annexed as Annexure-P9(from page no. ____ to _____), copy of communication dated 20.09.2012 issued by the Parliamentary Committee is annexed as Annexure-P10(from page no. ____ to _____) and copy of the instructions of the Prime Minister office dt.23.11.2012 are annexed as Annexure-P11(from page no. ____ to _____).
8. That as per the records of the Ministry itself, the performance of Respondent No. 7 was rated as exemplary, in taking action into corruption cases. It is on record that a record number of actions were initiated against various functionaries of the institute in past two years, which was unprecedented in the history of the institute. A copy of communication of the Ministry appreciating the performance of the officer is already enclosed as Annexure-P5.
9. That the file containing the documents relating to the creation of the post of the CVO was made to disappear by those vested interests which were hit hard by anti corruption drive of the new vigilance setupand so wasthe above mentionedtransfer proposal of the Respondent No. 7 sent on 21.08.2012, by the Respondent No. 1 and the Parliamentary Committee has already demanded CBI investigation into the same. A copy of the communication dated 06.06.2013 from the Parliamentary Committee demanding CBI investigation is annexed as Annexure-P12(from page no. ____ to _____).
UNDUE INTERFERENCE BY RESPONDENT NO. 3
10. That Respondent No. 3, who was a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), before becoming the Health & Family Welfare Minister, did unusual lobbying to dismantle this newly setup vigilance administration apparently toinfluence the ongoing inquiry proceedings in the corruption cases under the new vigilance setup and for this purpose he not only openly demanded to put all the inquiries into these cases on hold but also repeatedly requested for removal of Respondent No. 7 from the post of CVO, AIIMS. For this purpose, the Respondent No. 3 not only wrote as many as four letters to the variousCentral Ministers, but also held personal meetings with them, and even used RTI applications. Copies of all the letters written by Respondent No. 3 including the letter dated 24.06.2014 demanding all inquiries to be put on hold are annexed as Annexure-P13(colly) (Page no. ____ to _____) and records of the meeting with the then Health Minister for this purpose is annexed as Annexure-P14(colly) (from page no. ____ to _____). In all these letters, Respondent no. 3 concealed the fact of all the statutory approvals of SFC, GB & IB under provisions of AIIMS Act, 1956 and also commitment given by the Respondent No. 1 to the Parliamentary Committee, regarding the new vigilance setup, of which the Respondent No. 3 himself was a Member.
11. That the above mentioned demands/contentions of the respondent No. 3 were so illegal that the same were not only rejected by the then DoPT Minister but also by the Health Ministry itself, citing detailed reasons including various statutory orders. The copy of the reply of the then DoPT Minister was annexed as Annexure-P15 (from page no. ____ to _____) and the decision of the Health Ministry rejecting the demands of Mr. J.P. Nadda and closing the issues raised by him are alreadyannexed as Annexure-P5. However, after the formation of the new government, the same officials of the Ministry took a complete U-turn, without any change in factual position of the case,ignoring the various statutory decisions, in accepting the very same demands of Respondent No. 3 which were rejected just two months back. This U-turn was effected through almost twenty signatures put on file within a period of twenty four hours, right from the level of section officer to the Health & Family Welfare Minister, without any senior officer being allowed to speak his mind. The copy of the said document containing around twenty signatures within a period of twenty four hours for taking U-turn is annexed as Annexure-P16 (from page no. ____ to _____).
12. That the intent of cover up of these corruption cases by Respondent No. 3 is further revealed from the reply submitted by Respondent No. 3 before the Parliament regarding details of corruption cases of the AIIMS. The details were sought in the Parliamentary Question but the same were not brought before the Parliament. A copy of the Unstarred Question No. 1049 of Lok Sabha dated 28.11.2014 alongwith the reply is annexed as Annexure-P17 (from page no. ____ to _____). The information obtained under RTI Act reveals that the details of the cases also contained corruption cases of Mr. Vineet Chaudhary, an IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh Cadre who was then DD(A), AIIMS (from May, 2010 to November, 2012) and had worked very closely as Health Secretary with Respondent No. 3, between year 2001-03 when the latter was serving as Health Minister of the State. In these cases, the departmental charge sheets were approved by the then Health Ministers and as per DoPT instructions issued vide O.M. No. 11018/3/98-AIS(III) dated 09.06.1995, CVC had to tender first stage advice after which the case had to be sent to Cadre Controlling Ministry (i.e. DoPT, Government of India). However, due to reasons best known to them, the CVC referred back these cases to the Health Ministry without any clear cut directions to them and thus, making Respondent No. 3 judge of these cases.
13. That this newly setup Vigilance Administration of the Institute, which was in accordance with all the statutory approvals and was working very well, as per the observations of Respondent No. 1, was ultimatelydismantled because of undue pressure of the Respondent No. 3,as elaborated in preceding paras and the order dated 14.08.2014 were issued by the Ministry, removing the then CVO of the Institute and giving his charge to the Respondent No. 4, as additional charge. A copy of order dated 14.08.2014 is annexed as Annexure-P18(from page no. ____ to _____). In all his letters prior to becoming the Health & Family Welfare Minister, Respondent No. 3 used to raise the issue of so called prior approval of the CVC, for the appointment of CVO,to press for his illegitimate demands regarding halting the various corruption inquiries. However, in reply to a specific Parliamentary Question on 02.12.2014, he maintained total silence when asked specifically about the prior approval of the arrangement put in place after removal of respondent No. 7 from the post of CVO, though five months have passed since the earlier vigilance setup was dismantled under his pressure and the new arrangement came into being. It clearly shows that actual reasons for the hectic lobbying done by the respondent no. 3 to press for his illegitimate demands lie somewhere else. A copy of the Parliamentary Question dated 02.12.2014alongwith the reply is annexed as Annexure-P19 (from page no. ____ to _____). Because of the above mentioned order dated 14.08.2014 issued by the Ministry, now there is no Vigilance Officer sitting in this premier institute, before whom general public coming to the institute, may lodge their complaints, on corruption issues.
LIST OF PENDING CORRUPTION CASES, NOW UNDER DIRECT JURISDICTION OF RESPONDENT NO. 3
14. That as has been elaborated in preceding paras, actions were initiated by the new vigilance setup in past two years (from July, 2012 to August, 2014) in many corruption cases involving highest functionaries of the Respondent Institute, including the Director, the Deputy Directors (a Joint Secretary rank post, being occupied by senior IAS/IPS officers), Registrar, Chief Administrative officer, Store officers, Senior Security officer, the financial advisor and also of senior faculty members. These corruption cases include a wide range of issues having direct impact on the life and well being of the patients and include supply of spurious medicines, middlemen in making OPD cards, irregularities in purchase of surgery equipments, in computerization work, selection of technical staff/faculty members, dubious roles of certain faculty members in accepting hospitality from private medical colleges, unauthorized foreign visits of senior faculty members despite heavy patient load and long waiting list, serious irregularities in Engineering Wing, recruitment on the basis of fake caste certificates, use of fake propriety certificates in purchases, huge irregularities in tender of private security services, financial irregularities in research projects, irregularities in appointment of consultants etc.
15. That in most of these instances, the role of the Ministry was to protect the corrupt officials to create undue interference in the ongoing investigations against them. In this venture, apart from the functionaries of the Union Health Ministry, certain politicians including Respondent No. 3, also joined hands for their own ulterior motives. The most prominent of these instances include the attempts to protect the huge corruption/abuse of official position by an earlier Deputy Director Administration between Year 2010-2012 which include irregular appointment of consultants causing huge loss to the state exchequer, illegal extension of a corrupt and under qualified engineer to supervise expansion work of thousands of crores of rupees including the construction of the country’s largest cancer institute, and a notorious incident of treatment of his pet dog at the cancer centre by intimidating/blackmailing senior doctors of the institute; exonerating a very senior faculty member who was treating some very influential politicians, despite clear cut recommendations of MCI & CBI for major penalty proceedings on account of accepting hospitality from a private medical college and for submitting fake rental bills during inspection of a private medical college in blatant violation of MCI guidelines and the most recent episode of removal of the Chief Vigilance officer of the institute whose record as per the Ministry itself was exemplary/outstanding in curbing corruption in the institute, under the pressure of respondent no 3. The report of MCI & CBI for major penalty proceedings regarding a senior faculty member and the documents related to subsequent cover up against the findings of the CVO of the institute are annexed as Annexure-P20 (Colly) (from page no. ____ to _____).
16. That the details of some of the important pending corruption cases were obtained under the RTI Act, 2005 and also gathered from media reports. The latest status of these cases along with the brief content is mentioned in the tabular form as below:-
(i) CASES PENDING BETWEEN CVC & VIGILANCE DEPARTMENT OF AIIMS– 17 CASES
|Sr. No. in RTI Table||Brief of the case alongwith current status|
|12 of 2014 and 12 of CVC Table||Case against Sh. Vineet Chaudhary, I.A.S. the then Deputy Director (Administration) (DDA), involving serious irregularities – illegal extension in service of then Superintending Engineer (S.E.), irregularity in appointment of consultants at AIIMS in violation of General Financial Rules (GFR) provisions, causing disappearance of file for the creation of the post of CVO at AIIMS, heavy misuse of official vehicle, radiation therapy to pet dog, lavish renovation of office room misleading the then Health Minister; after approval of draft chargesheet for major penalty proceedings by the then Health Minister, the matter was referred to CVC on 16.08.2014 by the then CVO but CVC again referred the matter to the CVO of the Health Ministry in violation of laid down instructions (issued by DoPT vide O.M. No. 11018/3/98-AIS(III) dated 09.06.1995) instead of tendering first stage advice (i.e. approval of draft chargesheet) to AIIMS; so now the case being reviewed under Respondent No. 3 (i.e. Sh. J.P. Nadda, the present Health Minister), with whom Mr. Chaudhary worked very closely in Himachal Pradesh as Health Secretary during his tenure as Health Minister.|
Remarks: In the case of illegal extension in the services of then S.E., the said engineer was supposed to supervise construction projects of 3750 crore rupees, similarly the rate of misuse of official vehicle was at an astronomical rate of 144 KM/day continuously for a period of two years, as per media reports.
|9 of 2014||Case involving purchase of uniform of institute employees in violation of provisions of GFR, 2005, involving illegal gratification and causing financial loss to the institute; matter referred to CVC on 19.05.2014 by the then CVO, after approval of the draft chargesheets, by the then Health Minister, of Sh. Vineet Chaudhary, IAS then DD(A), AIIMS, Sh. Sailesh Yadav, IPS then DD(A), AIIMS, for minor penalty proceedings (for both of them) and Sh. V.V. Mishra, then Administrative Officer, for major penalty proceedings, for first stage advice for initiation of disciplinary proceedings; as per laid down instructions, CVC had to tender first stage advice to AIIMS after which case had to be sent to Department of Personnel & Training for Mr. Vineet Chaudhary and Ministry of Home Affairs for Mr. Sailesh Yadav for issuing of chargesheet and further proceedings but the CVC, in violation of laid down instructions(issued by DoPT vide O.M. No. 11018/3/98-AIS(III) dated 09.06.1995) referred the matter to the CVO of the Health Ministry, though at the same time it approved major penalty proceedings in case of Mr. V.V. Mishra another Group-A officer on deputation to AIIMS; so now the case being reviewed under Respondent No. 3 (i.e. Sh. J.P. Nadda, the present Health Minister).|
Remarks: The amount of purchase was around 1.5 crore rupees.
|6 of 2014||Serious financial irregularities in procurement in store of Department of Surgery, which was detected in a surprise physical verification; matter referred to CVC on 19.05.2014 by the then CVO, but no further development till this date.|
Remarks: This sample surprise check found unused/expired items of Rs. 67 Lac in one room and bypassing GFR provisions, items were purchased from favourite suppliers.
|1 & 15 of 2013 and 16 of CVC list||A scam involving tender for security services through fabrication of documents in tender to favour a particular company and subsequent irregularities in the massive paymentsto that private security agency, causing financial loss to the institute; case involved Sh. Sailesh Yadav, IPS the then DD(A), Sh. Rajiv Lochan, then Deputy Chief Security officer, and others; matter was referred to CVC in November, 2013 by the then CVO; CVC approved major penalty proceedings against all of them; regulardepartmental inquiry is going on.|
Remarks:- This scam involved dubious payment of crores of rupees.
|3 of 2013||Serious financial irregularities in the accounts of revolving funds of Department of Lab Medicine, AIIMS, in purchase, ignoring lower rates of the same items at authorized rate contracts and violating proper procurement procedures; matter was referred to CVC on 28.03.2013 by the then CVO, which advised in Mid, 2014 to CVO, AIIMS to fix the responsibility of concerned officers but no development since then.|
|13 of 2014||Serious financial irregularities in award of tenders by computer facility; matter referred to CVC in August, 2014 by the then CVO; CVC asked CVO, AIIMS to submit the matter in proper format, but no further progress.|
|14 of 2013 and 14 of CVC list||Serious irregularities in appointments under sports quota, in the name of the game of shooting ball despite it not being listed in the approved list of such sports by DoPT; after getting first stage advice of the CVC, major penalty chargesheet issued to the then Chief Administrative officer and other officials in March, 2014 and regular inquiry still under process|
|10 of 2013 and 7 of CVC list||Serious financial irregularities, in giving contract to various agencies for advertising/printing and other works of academic section; involved the then Registrar, Mr. V.P. Gupta; after first stage advice of CVC, disciplinary proceedings initiated under rule 9 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972; case put up before the present Health Minister (Respondent No. 3) for imposition of penalty.|
|4 of 2014||Case involving acceptance of boarding, lodging and transportation facilities from a private medical college in violation of MCI instructions and raising of fake rental bills by Dr. A.C. Ammini the then HoD, Endocrinology; CBI & MCI had recommended for major penalty proceedings but the then Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhanexonerated her overruling recommendations of the then CVO/CBI/MCI, after which matter had been submitted to CVC for second stage advice; CVC in this case also violated Central Government instructions according to which major penalty proceedings have to be initiated in case of fake bills but despite recommendation of the CVO of the AIIMS for the same, CVC approved minor penalty proceedings.|
Remarks: She was reportedly treating diabetes problem of a very senior politician.
|4 of 2011||Tampering with selection list to exclude two candidates selected on merit in the interviews held for the post of Operation Theatre Assistant(OTA) and to insert the names of other two candidates; after approval of CVC penalty of censure was imposed in one case on 27.03.2014, and CVC had further directed to fix the accountability of other faculties but no progress.|
|2 of 2013||Case regarding possession of assets disproportionate to known source of income in respect of a Store Officer; prima facie the vigilance wing of institute, found the reply of the official unconvincing and without requisite documentary evidence regarding source of finance and the matter was subsequently referred to CVC which had asked for further information.|
|13 of 2013||Case regarding construction of various engineering works without approval of the statutory bodies and binding of same approval for construction of surgical block at AIIMS; matter referred to CVC on 02.12.2013 by the then CVO, but no further development since then.|
|11 of 2014 and 19 of CVC list||Case of misconduct on part of a senior faculty member of department of Cardiac Anesthesia regarding breach of confidentiality and association with a private publisher; matter referred to CVC on 14.08.2014 by the then CVO, but no further development since then.|
|5 of 2014||Complaint under “Public Interest Disclosure Resolution” against one executive Engineer (Civil) regarding possession of assets disproportionate to known source of income; report referred to CVC on 15.04.2014 by the then CVO, but no further development since then.|
|14 of 2014 and 10 of CVC list||Fake claim of TA bills by a Senior Faculty member; after first stage advice of CVC regarding major penalty proceedings, chargesheet issued on 04.10.2014.|
|1 of 2014||Irregularities in purchase of imported sterilizer at higher price and delay in installation of equipment; report sent to CVC on 13.08.2014.|
|8 of CVC list||Irregularities in tender for procurement of one solution for online storage and viewing the offline storage and retrieval of images generated in cardiology/cardiac-radiology; institute was advised by CVC on 29.05.2014 to submit the case in required proforma but no further development.|
|13 of CVC list||Irregularities in tender process; CVC asked on 03.09.2014 to the CVO of the Health Ministry for submitting the case in prescribed proforma, but no progress since then.|
|17 of CVC list||Irregularities in tender; case still under consideration of the CVC.|
|18 of CVC list||Irregularities in purchase and violation of provisions of GFR, 2005; case still under consideration of the CVC.|
|21 of CVC list||Case against Sh. M.L. Joshi, AAO and others; case still under consideration of the CVC.|
(ii) CASES PENDING EXCLUSIVELYWITH VIGILANCE DEPARTMENT OF AIIMS – 7 CASES
|Sr. No. in RTI Table||Brief of the case alongwith current status|
|15 of 2014||Favouritism by a store officer of the Trauma Centre for awarding contract to a firm belonging to his son and daughter-in-law for supply of general cleaning/sanitation item; Store officer placed under suspension on the basis of the report of then CVO of the Institute, but disciplinary proceedings yet to be concluded.|
Remarks: This case involved use of fake propriety certificate in connivance with senior officers/faculty members of Trauma Centre and the same items were available in the main hospital at much reduced rates.
|16 of 2014||Possession of objectionable/incriminating document from one hospital attendant (H.A.); H.A. placed under suspension on the report of then CVO and chargesheet issued on 01.11.2014|
Remarks:The documents included blank OPD cards/medical fitness certificates.
|18 of 2014||Fake Caste Certificate of Chief Medical Social Service officer|
|20 of 2014||Financial irregularities and misuse of Department of Bio Technology (DBT) project funds.|
|21 of 2014||Purchase of surgical equipments by the Surgery Department, through false claim of propriety items from M/s Auto Futures.|
|22 of 2014||Irregularities in working of a private society, “Society for Cost effective use of Technology in Health Care and Training Courses & Programs”.|
|7 of 2014||Submission of fake caste certificate by one institute employee; major penalty chargesheet issued on 24.05.2014 on the basis of investigation report of then CVO and regular inquiry under process.|
(iii) CASES PENDING WITH CBI – 9 CASES
|Sr. No.||Brief of the case alongwith current status|
|1 of CBI list||Case of granting illegal extension in service of Sh. B.S. Anand the then S.E. of the Institute; P.E. registered by CBI on 09.01.2014 and matter is still under investigation;|
Remarks: As per media reports Sh. Vineet Chaudhary, IAS, the then DD(A) of the Institute is main accused named in the case and the extension was granted to supervise 3750 crore rupees constructions work, including dubious expenditure of Rs. 10 crore in erecting temporary structures at Jhajjar campus; case registered on the basis of the report of the then CVO.
|3 of CBI list & 15 of 2013||CBI registered FIR for irregularities in awarding contract to a private security agency in September, 2013; despite lapse of more than one year, CBI has not filed chargesheet in the case.|
|5 of CBI list & 6 of 2014||Serious financial irregularities in procurement in store of Department of Surgery, which was detected in a surprise physical verification; matter referred to CBI on 19.05.2014 by the then CVO, but no further action till this date.|
Remark: This sample surprise check found unused/expired items of Rs. 67 Lac in one room and bypassing GFR provisions, items were purchased from favourite suppliers.
|6 of CBI list & 15 of 2014||Favouritism by a store officer of the Trauma Centre for awarding contract to a firm belonging to his son and daughter-in-law for supply of general cleaning/sanitation item.|
Remarks: This case involved use of fake propriety certificate in connivance with senior officers/faculty members of Trauma Centre and the same items were available in the main hospital at much reduced rates.
|3 of 2013||Serious financial irregularities in the accounts of revolving funds of Department of Lab Medicine, AIIMS, in purchase, ignoring lower rates of the same items at authorized rate contracts and violating proper procurement procedures; matter was referred to CBI on 29.03.2013 by the then CVO, but no further action till this date.|
|9 of CBI list & 10 of 2014||Irregularities in entrance exam of M.D./M.S. Courses through illegal means; report submitted to CBI on 21.07.2014 by the then CVO but no further action till this date.|
|4 of CBI list & 13 of 2014||Serious financial irregularities in award of tenders by computer facility; matter referred to CVC in August, 2014 by the then CVO; CVC asked CVO, AIIMS to submit the matter in proper format, but no further progress.|
|2 of 2013||Case regarding disproportionate assets of a Store officer; matter referred to CBI on 19.02.2013 by the then CVO but CBI closed the case; CVC had sought further information on CBI report.|
|7 of CBI list & 12 of 2013||Case of disproportionate assets of Chief Medical Social Service Worker; case referred to CBI on 12.11.2013 by the then CVO, after the investigations revealed the reply of accused unconvincing and his failure in providing documentary evidences regarding source of finance but no further action by CBI till this date.|
It is submitted that beside these cases there are number of other cases pending in the Institute, of various misconducts including unauthorized absence, indiscipline,dereliction of duty, etc. in which disciplinary proceedings are yet to be concluded at the level of disciplinary authority and which come under the ambit of letter dated 24.6.2014 of the respondent no 3(annexed as Annexure-P13), vide which he had demanded to withhold proceedings into all such cases. In all these cases also, Mr JP Nadda would now sit as Judge, in his capacity as Disciplinary authority, by virtue of being ex-officio President of the institute. Copies of the information obtained under RTI Act, 2005 as well as some of the media reports are annexed as Annexure P21 (colly) (from page no. 169 to _____).
It is submitted that a W.P(C).no.44 of 2015 was filed by the petitioner u/a 32 of the constitution of India before the Hon’ble Supreme court raising these issues. The aforesaid writ petition was disposed off by the Hon’ble supreme court vide its order dt.06.02.2015 as withdrawn with a liberty to approach the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi with an observation that the Hon’ble High court shall consider the same in accordance with law as early as possible. Copy of the order dt.06.02.2015 passed by the Hon’ble supreme court in w.p(c).44 of 2014 is annexed hereto as Annexure P22 (from page no. 169 to _____).
17. That with Mr. J.P. Nadda himself at the helm of affairs, the result of the inquiry of the corruption cases at the institute and their subsequent implications for the life and well being of the thousands of patients coming into the institute is simply a fait-accompli. Already review of certain sensitive corruption cases involving officials close to him has been initiated under Respondent No. 3 and in many other cases investigation have been slowed down, which include corruption cases of Mr. Vineet Chaudhary, IAS, who had earlier worked with him as Health Secretary from 2001-2003 in Himachal Pradesh, and therefore, the only way left now for ensuring fair investigation into ongoing corruption cases and to ensure unhindered administration of justice, is the intervention of this Hon’ble Court in investigation by the CBI in the aforementioned corruption cases and disciplinary proceedings in the cases of departmental irregularities so that those cases could be brought to their logicalconclusionand further, restraining Mr. J.P. Nadda, Respondent no.3 from acting as final Disciplinary Authority as President of the AIIMS in all the aforementioned cases including all those cases about which he had demanded to put the proceedings on hold. It is submitted that as per Notification No. F.No.14-3/69/99-Estt.I dated 25.02.1999 (annexed as Annexure-P1), the President, AIIMS is the disciplinary authority for both Group-B & Group-A officers and Appellate Authority for Group-C officers. In the interest of Principles of natural justice and an independent fearless investigation, it is imperative, that Mr. Naddai.e Respondent no.3 is directed to be recused from all such cases, from acting as disciplinary authority/appellate authority, in which he had demanded to halt the proceedings, vide his letter dated 24.06.2014 (annexed as Annexure-P13). This Hon’ble Court had already issued similar directions, very recently in case of CBI Director while this case is more serious as here the intent to influence the proceedings into corruption cases is patent and inescapable from the record.
18. It is submitted that W.P(C) no.44 of 2015 was filed by the petitioners raising this issue before the Hon’ble Supreme court of India which was disposed off as withdrawn with a liberty to approach this Hon’ble Court with an observation that the Hon’ble High court shall consider the same in accordance with law as early as possible. Copy of the order dated 06.02.2015 passed in WP (C) No. 44 of 2015 is being annexed hereto Annexure P22 (from page no. ______ to _____)
18. Therefore, the Petitioner is filing the present writ petition in public interest. The Petitioner has not filed any other petition seeking similar reliefs in any other court of this country.
19. The present writ petition is being filed on the following grounds amongst others:
- Because the Rule of Law, which is part of Article 14 and Art.21 and recognised as a basic feature and part of the basic structure of the constitution, warrants that the cases of corruption must be investigated in a fair and independent manner so that the persons occupying public offices if found involved in acts of corruption must be punished as per the law of land. However, in the present case, attempt is being made to protect those officials against whom there are strong prima facie cases of corruption and against whom investigation by the CBI as well as disciplinary proceedings are already underway. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vineet Narain v. Union of India, (1998) 1 SCC 226, at page 268 has held;
“Any deviation from the path of rectitude by any of them amounts to a breach of trust and must be severely dealt with instead of being pushed under the carpet. If the conduct amounts to an offence, it must be promptly investigated and the offender against whom a prima facie case is made out should be prosecuted expeditiously so that the majesty of law is upheld and the rule of law vindicated. It is the duty of the judiciary to enforce the rule of law and, therefore, to guard against erosion of the rule of law.”
- Because Respondent No. 3, even before he became the Health Minister, had already taken a stand with regard to the cases of corruption and irregularities initiated by the then CVO and expressed his view that all these cases should be put on hold till the time the person suggested by him is made the CVO, and therefore it is fair, just and in accordance with principle of natural justice that he must be directed to recuse himself from acting as final disciplinary authority in those cases. Already review of certain sensitive corruption cases involving officials reported to be close to him has been initiated under Respondent No. 3 and in many other cases investigation have been slowed down. There is a very strong precedence in the form of the recent order of this Hon’ble Court in a similar matter, where this Hon’ble court accepted the prayer for recusal of the then CBI director.
- Because the AIIMS being a premier Health Institute of this country must be free from corruption and other irregularities and therefore, any action or inaction to derail the investigation into corruption cases involving the doctors/officials of the AIIMS is arbitrary, illegal and against public interest. These corruption cases include a wide range of issues having direct impact on the life and well being of the thousands of patients and include supply of spurious medicines, irregularities in purchase of equipment, recruitments, etc. and thus will adversely affect right to life of Indian citizen and violate Art.14 and Art.21 of the Constitution.
D. Because the manner in which the vigilance set up of AIIMS, which was created in 2012 after taking all the statutory approvals and had started investigations against high officials of the AIIMS, was dismantled under the persistent demand made by Respondent No. 3 and thereafter, Respondent No. 3 was given the charge of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfares shows strong prima facie case of malafides and undue interference with the legal process and suggests that this has been done for some extraneous considerations.
In view of the aforementioned facts and circumstances, this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to pass the following orders:
(a) A writ of mandamus or any other similar writ or direction for expeditious investigation of corruption cases by the CBI as well as of the disciplinary proceedings in the cases referred in para no. 16 of the petition, as recommended by Respondent No. 7 as the then CVO, AIIMS, as well as for status of pending departmental proceedings and also investigations by the CBI in the cases of irregularities, illegalities and corruption in the AIIMS; and
(b) Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ or direction of similar nature to direct Sh. J.P. Nadda, (Respondent No.3) to recuse himself from all the cases mentioned in para no. 16 of the Petition from acting as disciplinary authority/appellate authority as well as in all other cases, about which demand was made by him to withhold proceedings, vide his letter dated 24.06.2014 annexed as Annexure-P13; sand
(c) Issue directions to respondent No. 6 to initiate investigation into the issue of missing files and efforts to halt proceedings in the inquiry of all the corruption and related cases, as already demanded by the Standing Parliamentary Committee vide letter dated 06.06.2013 annexed as Annexure-P12.
(d) Pass any other order as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper.
(Counsel for the Petitioner)