Tainted babu back in favour


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18 Aug 2012

 
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Lucknow

Akhilesh Yadav Government in Uttar Pradesh on Friday reinstated tainted IAS officer Pradeep Shukla, a prime accused in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam.

Shukla, a 1981 batch topper of the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS), was arrested in May by the CBI for alleged bungling in upgradation of 89 district hospitals under the NRHM programme, causing a loss of nearly Rs 22.5 crore to the state exchequer.

55-year-old Shukla has spent three months in Dasna prison in Noida. He was granted bail by a special CBI court in Ghaziabad last week.

Former health minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, who is currently in jail for his alleged involvement in the NRHM scam, has levelled allegations against Shukla for being among the officials who signed the papers for “fictitious payments.”

Shukla’s reinstatement was in gross violation of Service Rules, which clearly say that any Government official spending more than 48 hours in jail must be suspended from service.

Shukla’s nexus with PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav is seen as the reason for his reinstatement.

Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court has taken a serious note of Pradeep Shukla’s reinstatement.  The court sought to know why Shukla was not suspended.

The court also asked the CBI to explain why the investigating agency had not cared to file a chargesheet against Shukla for three long months after his arrest.

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