The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against secretary of Burn Care Foundation and managing director of Nemcare Hospital Dr Hitesh Baruah and a former Advisor (health) of North Eastern Council (NEC) on charges of misuse of NEC funds.
According to the FIR, the then NEC Advisor (health) Dr NJ Sharma entered into a criminal conspiracy with Dr Hitesh Baruah and had fraudulently purchased various costly equipment from NEC funds without proper justification and at exorbitant price in the name of burn care unit, The Assam Tribune reported.
The equipment were, however, used for the general patients of Nemcare Hospital. The duo allegedly cheated the NEC by not setting up the proposed 12-bed burn care unit.
According to the FIR, Dr Baruah had submitted a Rs 10-crore proposal to NEC for setting up a burn care unit in an area of 20,000 sq ft. The then NEC health advisor had recommended a support of Rs 2.70 crore (90 per cent of the funding limit of Rs 3 crore). The amount was released in four instalments, the last of which was January, 2012.
The technical and purchase committee was constituted unauthorizedly with both Dr Sharma and Dr Baruah as members, according to the FIR.
“Dr Baruah in conspiracy with Dr Sharma fraudulently procured as many as 40 costly equipment at exorbitant prices totalling Rs 3,00,87,732 in the name of the burn care unit,” the FIR said.
A joint verification carried out by CBI last year of the total 40 equipment purchased, 22 were found installed in different rooms of Nemcare Hospital other then the burn care unit. Also, 20 equipment did not figure in the DPR submitted by Dr Hitesh Baruah to the DoNER Minister.
Also, the proposed setting up of the 12-bed burn care unit with an infrastructure of 20,000 sq ft has not been materialized till date, except running the existing burn care unit at the first floor of Nemcare Hospital, said the FIR.
The CBI has slapped sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (fraud) of IPC and sections 13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act against Dr Sharma, Dr Baruah and others.