New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up Uttar Pradesh government for not registering a police complaint or informing the Centre about scam in issuance of smart cards to fictitious and undeserving persons under the Rashtriya Swasth Bima Yojna (RSBY).
Justice Manmohan expressed surprise that no FIR has been lodged with the police in connection with the scam and said the "scamsters" must be getting emboldened by the state government`s "inaction".
The court directed the state to conduct whatever internal enquiry it wishes to and then lodge a police complaint in connection with the scam within two weeks.
"I am surprised no complaint has been filed. This is straightaway a police case. You (state) should have right away lodged a police complaint. The police should have been set in motion.
"Why didn`t you inform the Central Government about the shortcomings in the implementation of the scheme? They could have amended it. These scamsters, whosoever they are, are getting emboldened by your inaction," Justice Manmohan said.
He was also "surprised" that the officials concerned of the health department of the state did not come to know about the use of forged smart cards and termed the scheme and the mechanism used to implement it as "flawed".
"It is surprising your (UP government`s) officers have not come to know about the forged smart cards. There is a flaw in your institutional mechanism. Your scheme is also flawed," the court said.
The court also questioned the concept and appointment of third party administrators (TPAs) saying "Who are these TPAs? Where are they coming from? How are you allowing them to function? They have no proper background to handle the claims? What is the Centre doing? I don`t understand," Justice Manmohan said.
Under the scheme annual health insurance cover to the tune of Rs 30,000 is provided to five members of a family belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category.
As per the scheme, which is currently operational in 25 states including UP, the Labour and Employment Ministry would pay 75 per cent and the rest 25 per cent cost would be borne by the state government.
It is alleged that there have been complaints that smart cards have been issued to some "undeserving and fictitious persons" under the scheme and moreover, the central government did not conduct any survey on its own and relied on the BPL list prepared by the state government.
During the proceedings, senior advocate Pratibha Singh, appearing for the state government, said an inquiry is being conducted internally within the government department concerned and thereafter, a complaint will be lodged with the police.
She also said that action has been taken against those errant hospitals, which were to provide treatment to BPL families under RSBY scheme and where the forged smart cards were used, by de-empanelling them.
Justice Manmohan, however, was not pleased with UP government`s decision saying the hospitals themselves "may be innocent" and they were being de-empanelled without finding out who was responsible for the smart cards` forgery.
The court also said that if the use of forged smart cards is happening across a large number of hospitals then it is a very serious issue.
The High Court was hearing a plea of Varanasi-based Mukti Mission Sewa Hospital that it has wrongly been removed from the list of hospitals which were empanelled by TPA Medsave Healthcare on behalf of the Centre to provide treatment to BPL families under RSBY scheme.
The hospital in its plea has said that the TPA wrongly accused it of raising bogus claims and used the same as a ground for de-rostering it.