IMPHAL: Special Judge (PC Act), Imphal West, Manipur remanded Senior Medical Officer for Directorate of Health Services into police custody till July 10, in connection with involvement in the procurement of substandard N-95 masks.
Senior medical officer, Dr. Dinesh was arrested by Vigilance and Anti-Corruption police on July 7 and produced before the court on Wednesday. While producing an alleged accused, police prayed for remanding him into six days police custody till July 13. Meanwhile, an application was filed by the alleged accused through counsel praying for releasing him on bail.
Before the court, additional special PP submitted that the accused played a key role in the procurement of medical protective gears without supply orders from various farms including N-95 masks allocated to district hospital, Churachandpur which were of substandard quality and as the investigation is at preliminary stage, custodial interrogation of the accused is required for the proper investigation.
However, the accused counsel submitted that the accused is presently working as a senior medical officer, directorate of health services, the government of Manipur and State Nodal Officer, State Health Mission. It is submitted that all the questioned items have been procured undergoing statutory provisions and the accused had no hands in procuring the substandard items. It is also submitted that the accused shall abide by any conditions imposed upon him and there is no question of absconding and thus bail may be granted to the accused. The accused is a mere senior medical officer and a scapegoat in the case, counsel submitted.
After considering the submission and materials, the court in view of finding prima-facie case against the accused in the procuration of questioned items and further that for the purpose of proper investigation.
The court also directed IO of the case to provide due medical aid to the accused as the accused complaints of some ailments.
It may be mentioned that during the period of March-April 2020, Medical Directorate is found to have procured Medical Protection Gear including N-95 mask for the purpose of combating against COVID-19 pandemic from various firms without following the established norms of procurement and distributed to district hospital authorities and CMOs of 16 districts in Manipur.
The medical directorate has so far procured 52100 numbers of N-95 masks from five firms, namely M/S Blue Sky Services, Guwahati-29150; M/S Nim Pharmaceutic, Guwahati-2000; M/S Global Infrastructure and Construction, Dimapur, Kohima (C/o M/S Lords, Delhi); M/S Fama Marketing, Guwahati-3050; M/S Yumnam Agency, Imphal -5000 without issuing supply orders to the respected firms and distributed to district hospital authorities and CMOs of 16 districts in Manipur.
Out of the said 52100 masks, 3050 numbers of N-masks were supplied by M/S Fama Marketing, Guwahati from which 200 numbers of masks were issued to district hospital Churachandpur under the order of Dr. M Dinesh, on April 3 and 6. All are found to be standard quality and unfit for use as medical protective gear to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
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