File Ayushman Bharat ‘scam’ status report by Sept 30: J&K court to ACB
The whistleblower in this case, advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, had filed the complaint on October 10, 2022, originally to the director of the CBI seeking registration of an FIR into “ ₹500-700 crore scam in the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Scheme in the J&K”. However, the CBI had transferred the complaint on April 19 this year to the director, ACB, J&K.
The court of additional sessions judge (anti-corruption) Jammu, OP Bhagat on Wednesday extended time up to September 30 for the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Jammu, to submit latest status report of a complaint pertaining to a multi-crore scam in Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya scheme in Jammu and Kashmir.
The whistleblower in this case, advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed, had filed the complaint on October 10, 2022, originally to the director of the CBI seeking registration of an FIR into “ ₹500-700 crore scam in the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Scheme in the J&K”.
However, the CBI had transferred the complaint on April 19 this year to the director, Anti-Corruption Bureau, J&K.
The anti-corruption court on the last date of hearing had directed the ACB to submit the status report by or before September 26.
During hearing before the anti-corruption court, the additional public prosecutor (APP), appearing for the ACB, submitted that he has not received the status report from the ACB headquarters and he be allowed more time to comply with the orders of the court.
However, advocate Ahmed, who is the complainant in the matter, resisted the prayer and submitted that the ACB was taking the matter casually and attempt was being made to hush up the multi-crore scam.
He further submitted that a time-bound direction be issued to the ACB so that the status of the scam was known to everyone.
The complainant submitted that he blew the lid off after he got RTI inputs from the state health agency (SHA) and health and medical education department of J&K about a prima facie scam of ₹500 to 700 crore in the implementation of Ayushman Bharat Jan Arogya Scheme in J&K.
Ahmed regretted that despite comprehensive complaint lodged before the director, CBI, on October 10, 2022, seeking registration of an FIR, the CBI did nothing.
Compelled by the circumstances, the complainant had then filed an application on February 7 this year before special judge, anti-corruption (CBI Cases), Jammu, wherein he sought directions to the CBI to submit the status of the complaint.
Eventually, the CBI divulged that the complaint has been forwarded to the director ACB, J&K, vide its letter dated April 19, 2023.
After considering submissions of advocate SS Ahmed, who appeared in person and additional public prosecutor, the court of additional sessions judge (Anti-Corruption) further extended the time to the ACB to comply with the earlier direction by filing the current status of the complaint by or before September 30.