The Anti Corruption Bureau, which is probing alleged financial irregularities in the supply of medicines and other surgical kits to dispensaries and Employee’s State Insurance (ESI) hospitals across the State, have arrested seven persons, including the Director of Insurance Medical Services, Dr.Ch. Devika Rani and Joint Director K. Padma from their respective residences on Friday morning.
Others arrested include Insurance Medical Services (IMS) Assistant Director Vasantha Indira, pharmacist Radhika, Senior Assistant Harshvardhan; as well as Omni Medi MD Srihari and employee Nagaraju.
The arrests came a day after the investigators probing the ‘multi-crore’ scam carried out simultaneous raids at 23 different places belonging to officials of IMS and four private persons in Hyderabad and Warangal.
They are being quizzed at the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) headquarters in Banjara Hills and by evening they will be produced before the special court for ACB cases in Hyderabad.
“So far, seven people, including five officials and two private persons were taken into custody, after collecting valid documents from their possession to prove the charges,” an officer associated with the investigating agency said.
According to officials, Dr. Devika Rani along with her other colleagues and four private individuals, including a Telugu news channel journalist had allegedly diverted ₹300 crore by procuring medicine from non-Rate Contract firms in the guise of ’emergency medicines’.
Dr. Rani took charge as Director of IMS in 2015 and the non-RC firms from where the department purchased medicines at excess price of 100% to 300%, were reportedly set up by her.
Following the directions of the State government, the ACB conducted a detailed inquiry into the allegations and irregularities in the department and carried out searches on Thursday. Earlier, the Vigilance and Enforcement wing conducted a probe and submitted a report to the State government. – The Hindu