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Health Official Notified by Vigilance for Covid Protocol Violations

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Vigilance Issues Notice To Health Official Over Covid ‘irregularities’, ET HealthWorld

The Directorate of Vigilance of the Delhi government has issued a show-cause notice to the Health Minister’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD), RN Das, regarding alleged irregularities in the procurement of gloves, masks, and rapid test kits worth approximately Rs 60 crore during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The notice states that Das, who was the OSD to the then Health Minister Satyendar Jain, is accused of manipulating tenders in favor of a specific family that owns multiple companies.

According to official sources, Das assumed the role of OSD to Health Minister Bharadwaj on March 14, 2023, and was serving as the Medical Superintendent (Nursing) with an additional charge of Delhi Arogya Kosh during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. The allegations suggest that a conspiracy was orchestrated during the pandemic to embezzle funds from the public coffers, with Das allegedly chairing committees for the procurement of essential medical supplies.

The notice further accuses the Health Department officials of using the pretext of the COVID-19 crisis to benefit private companies and foster cartelization among them. It highlights instances where undue favors were allegedly extended to certain firms during the procurement process. The Directorate of Vigilance has demanded a response from Das within seven days, failing which further action will be taken.

In response to these allegations, the AAP-led Delhi government has condemned the accusations as baseless and politically motivated, pointing towards a wider pattern of targeting officers working in ministerial offices. The LG’s office has not issued any statement regarding the matter so far. The unfolding situation raises concerns about the transparency and integrity of the procurement processes during the pandemic period.

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