Jitan Ram Manjhi

Bihar suspends four officials in drug purchase scam

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Patna, Oct 12 (IANS) The Bihar government has suspended four health officials and terminated service of one for their alleged involvement in a drug purchase scam running into crores of rupees, a top official said here Sunday.

It also recommended action against four other officials.

“The state government acted against top health officials following an order of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi after a probe report into irregularities in the purchase of medicines worth crores of rupees was submitted Saturday,” principal secretary of health department Deepak Kumar said.

The probe report said the Bihar Medical Services Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL) purchased drugs worth Rs.14.48 crore at a rate higher than what was fixed by the state health society.

Besides, the report said the BMSICL purchased drugs worth Rs.19.60 crore from Medipol and Laborate, which are blacklisted in other states.

Deepak Kumar said suspended officials were director in chief (health services) Surendra Prasad, BMSICL managing director Praveen Kisore, state drug controller Hemant Kumar Sinha and former deputy superintendent of the Patna Medical College and Hospital Bimal Karak.

The state government also dismissed BMSICL general manager Tripurari Kumar from the service for his role in the scam.

Besides, the government recommended suspension of then joint secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar, who is on central deputation, and deputy director (industries) Om Prakah Pathak to the central government and initiated departmental proceedings against then assistant director in the state health society D.K. Raman.

It served show cause notice to Ram Charit Mandal, superintendent of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital in Bhagalpur.

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