Army accuses CBI team of sensationalising surprise check
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 18:30
Pune: Army authorities here on Wednesday accused a CBI team, which had recently conducted a "surprise check" at its Command hospital, of "faltering in procedure" and "sensationalising" the raid and stated that the matter would be taken up with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for resolution.

Addressing a press conference here, Brig. Rajbir Singh, Pune Sub-area Commander, said, "We are not contemplating any legal action against CBI which has faltered in following procedure during the surprise check and lodged a false complaint against Commandant of the hospital Maj Gen S S Panwar accusing him of obstructing its work. We are, however, taking up the matter with the MoD to resolve it at the highest level."

The controversy had erupted after a CBI-Anti-Corruption Bureau team carried out a "surprise check" at the Command hospital here last week and seized an AC unit from its premises, acting on a complaint by a medical goods vendor who had alleged irregularities in purchases on part of the hospital authorities with a claim that he had installed a one tonne AC unit as an illegal gratification.

The CBI superintendent Vidya Kulkarni had filed an FIR against Maj Gen Panwar for "obstructing" the agency's work and not cooperating with the team during the check.

Brig. Singh said the Command hospital authorities fully cooperated with the CBI team although it was necessary for the CBI officials to intimate the local sub area authorities and seek prior permission for carrying out such checks on an Army unit as per the government policy and rules.

On the seizure of the AC unit, he said it had been installed by the complainant vendor "willingly" in the vendors' room in the hospital for their own comfort and could not be construed as "bribe".

Brig. Singh said the vendor had filed a false complaint against the hospital after he was blacklisted by the authorities for supplying spurious medicines and banned in September 2010.

"The CBI made irresponsible, derogatory, inflammatory statements against the Command hospital and lodged a false complaint against the hospital Commandant accusing him of obstructing its work and has thus vitiated the atmosphere," he claimed.

To a question, the Sub area commander however, admitted that the seized AC unit was not documented in the hospital and it was not a practice to accept "gifts" from vendors.

"We will investigate this matter", Brig Singh said, adding that the army would uphold the highest standards of ethics and discipline and wrongdoers would not be spared.


First Published: Wednesday, December 08, 2010, 18:30

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