Agency says no strong evidence against officers,recommends disciplinary action; Nambiar to move HC
Seven months after it raided the Command Hospital on a bribery complaint and was prevented for hours from taking possession of an air-conditioner allegedly given as bribe,the CBI-ACB has filed a closure report in the case. The report was filed before CBI special judge S V Lathkar on July 1.
The report says there has been a misconduct by three Defence personnel,but it recommends only regular departmental action. Lt Col Praful Mohan,in-charge,medical stores,Command Hospital (Southern Command),Subedar Major Gurdip Singh and Havaldar Hari Shyam Nishad (who received the delivery of the air-conditioner) committed misconduct by accepting the said window air-conditioner from M/s Shashi Enterprises without consideration and are liable for regular departmental action… Accordingly,a CBI report has been sent to the Ministry of Defence…, it says.
The report says investigation had revealed that the AC was not installed at Mohans house. It was not obtained by him for himself but might have exercised his position to install the same in the DGLP Cell by violating the conduct rules. However,it says sufficient cogent and unimpeachable evidence did not come on record to substantiate the allegations against Mohan as alleged in the FIR.
Investigations had revealed that the AC was purchased on May 5,2010,by complainant and medical vendor Kannan Nambiar from M/s Rajpal A/C and Refrigeration for Rs 14,500 and sent to the medical stores,Command Hospital. It was installed in a newly renovated room near the dispensary and the existing Director General of Local Purchase (DGLP) Cell in the hospital on May end. The room was used by officers of DGLP Cell. Lt Col Praful Mohan was not sitting in that room, the report says.
The CBI-ACB has attached a list of 29 witnesses and 10 documents with the report. Praful Mohan was booked under Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act,1988.
Rishi Raj Singh,joint director,CBI,Mumbai,said they had recommended disciplinary action against the guilty. Pravin Salunkhe,DIG,CBI,said: We had no strong evidence. But we have suggested disciplinary action against those involved. On Major Gen S S Panwar,he said a complaint had been filed against him. Rajpal Singh,deputy superintendent of police,CBI-ACB,Pune,said he had filed a complaint with Wanavdi police against Panwar for obstructing government work. DCP Sanjay Jadhav said he would provide an update in the case on Thursday morning. Both Mohan and Panwar have denied the charges.
Nambiar expressed shock over the development. I have been hiding after threats to my life… Even a case has been filed against me. The hospital has refused to pay me my pending bill of Rs 22 lakh. I have nothing personal against anybody,not the least Army; my fight is for justice. I hope my grievance will be looked into, he said.
Nambiars lawyer Ajay Gadegonakar said they would move the Bombay High Court. The CBI has not investigated the case; it has not taken statements of the accused and it has not filed a chargesheet. It has assumed itself the role of a court. We have no other option.
BSP MP Ambeth Rajan,whom Nambiar had approached,said he had already taken up the issue with Defence Minister A K Antony. He has promised me to look into the matter.