New Delhi: Nearly 250 faculty members, researchers and scientists of AIIMS have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding reinstatement of Sanjiv Chaturvedi as the institute's chief vigilance officer (CVO).
In a letter, the signatories have tried to apprise the PM that the Health Ministry's statements that he was rejected by the CVC on procedural grounds and that complaints have been lodged against him, justifying the removal of Chaturvedi as the CVO, are contrary to facts.
"It is common knowledge that in the last two years Chaturvedi unearthed a string of corruption cases at AIIMS that led to enquiries (including CBI enquries) against corrupt officials. This would not have been possible without the CVC being aware of Chaturvedi's position as CVO, AIIMS, and conducting routine transactions with him as CVO.
"In fact, Chaturvedi's name was displayed on the CVC website as CVO of AIIMS. Further, perusal of service rules suggests that prior approval of the CVC is required only in case of appointment of CVO of specific (commercial) organisations," the letter said.
The doctors further said that the decision to give the charge of CVO to Deputy Secretary rank officer was made vide the Standing Finance Committee (SFC), Governing Body (GB) and Institute Body (IB) of AIIMS under the AIIMS Act, and the vigilance manual cannot supersede a Parliamentary Act.
Citing media reports, they said that removal of CVO without the approval of the CVC is a violation of the CVC Act.
The signatories have also claimed that the Health Ministry deliberately misled the Prime Minister by concealing many facts.
"Media reports suggest that several facts relating to Chaturvedi's appointment and removal were concealed from your goodself," they said in the letter.
The fact of approval of AIIMS general body and institute body to the AIIMS standing finance committee's proposal to entrust the charge of CVO to an officer joining the newly created post of deputy secretary rank was concealed from your goodself.
They also mentioned in the letter that Health Secretary's report also incorrectly stated that the charge of CVO given to Chaturvedi was "additional".
"In his report to you, the Health Secretary has apparently argued that Chaturvedi was given 'additional charge' of CVO, AIIMS, based on an internal arrangement, as there was no independent post of CVO at AIIMS.
"The AIIMS order dated July 7, 2012 states that the charge of CVO was the primary task assigned to Chaturvedi along with minor additional responsibilities relating to estate, pension and grievances sections," the doctors stated.
The signatories have demanded action against the order removing Chaturvedi as the CVO, and enquiry into the fact that he has been removed of his CVO charge without information to the CVC. They also sought action against the Health Secretary for concealing important details of the case from the Prime Minister.