High Court orders SIT probe into ‘treatment scam’ : The Tribune India

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 14

Taking into consideration the “seriousness” and “magnitude” of an alleged scam purportedly involving forging of signatures of senior Army officials and appending fake stamps or seals of the Army on forged prescription or verification slips and documents, the Punjab and Haryana High Court entrusted the probe to a special investigation team (SIT).

‘Documents forged’ to seek MoD grants

  • The alleged scam purportedly involves using fake stamps or seals of Army on forged prescriptions
  • Army and MoD funds amounting to crores were allegedly transferred into the bank accounts of a hospital
  • The Army had alleged signatures of its officials on treatment documents appeared to be forged

The SIT would be headed by Punjab IPS officer and Special DGP, Investigation, Lokpal, Prabodh Kumar. The case allegedly involves transfer of “crores of rupees” of the Army and Ministry of Defence into the bank accounts of a hospital.

The matter was brought to Justice Deepak Sibal’s notice after one Narinder Kumar filed an anticipatory bail plea in an FIR registered on April 17 for cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and other offences under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120-B and 34 of the IPC at Shahpur Kandi police station in Pathankot district.

An application was initially filed before the police by Vijay Kumar Thappa of Amandeep Group of Hospitals. He claimed that the hospital had received a complaint from the Army authorities that signatures of Army officials on treatment documents appeared to be forged in cases of certain patients referred under the ECHS scheme.

He alleged that inquiries by the hospital pointed the needle of suspicion towards the petitioner and one Abhinandan Thakur entrusted with the task of seeking permissions and approvals from the Army authorities regarding admission and treatment of patients referred under the ECHS scheme.

Justice Sibal asserted the petitioner was blaming the the hospital, while alleging that the investigation agency was under the hospital’s “influence due to its deep pockets”. The hospital, on the other hand, blame the petitioner and Abhinandan.

Rejecting the bail plea, Justice Sibal asserted the Special DGP would be at liberty to select the team, including an SP-rank officer. To avoid parallel investigations, he would also probe two other FIRs, including one at Cantonment police station at Amritsar.

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