Vijayawada: The Criminal Investigation Department has finally registered a case against TBS Telematic and Bio Medical Services India Limited, a Bengaluru-based medical equipment company which allegedly siphoned off crores of rupees from the state exchequer in a health project.
The CID which dragged its feet for almost two years had to act on Thursday evening following serious observations made by the Andhra Pradesh High Court during the hearing of a contempt of court case filed by complainant Indukuri Venkata Rama Raju in the morning. Even after the state government accorded permission to the CID to book a case against the private company on February 1, the CID did not act till Thursday.
What makes the development more curious is that the CID was permitted by the state government to book a case only against the private company though complainant Rama Raju and the Anti Corruption Bureau had established beyond doubt the connivance of senior bureaucrats with the private company.
Deccan Chronicle had reported about then Chief Secretary L.V. Subrahmanyam seeking the government’s permission to book cases against officers responsible for the fraud along with the private company as per the directions of the AP High Court and ACB. He also mentioned that Poonam Malakondaiah was special chief secretary of the health department and Gopinath was vice-chairman and managing director of AP Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation when the financial irregularities took place.
The health department also admitted irregularities while cancelling the agreement with TBS Telematic and cited reasons like price escalation, raising bills for non existent equipment, raising invoices for equipment which are in “beyond economic repair” and “warranty” categories.
According to the First Information Report issued by the CID, the cost of each ventilator was escalated to Rs 11 lakh against the original price of Rs 7.3 lakh resulting in loss of Rs 17 crore on purchase of 159 ventilators. The cost of each glucometer was shown as Rs 5.08 lakh against the actual price of Rs 840.