SC notice to CBI on bail plea by NRHM scam accused

New Delhi : The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to CBI on a bail plea by senior bureaucrat Pradeep Shukla, who is one of the accused in Uttar Pradesh’s 2009 National Rural Health Mission scam involving irregularities in its implementation.

A bench of Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh directed the listing of the matter on July 1 as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought time to go through the medical documents filed by Shukla, who was the state’s principal secretary, health and family welfare when the alleged irregularities surfaced, to seek bail on medical grounds.

Support TwoCircles

The CBI which investigated the case has alleged that favours were shown to a private firm in a contract given by the family welfare department for operation of mobile units in various districts of the state. The charge-sheet in the case was filed in August 2013 before the special CBI court in Ghaziabad.

While allowing the plea by CBI counsel Balasubramaniam to verify the documents, the court observed that the medical papers were from the government-run RML Hospital and AIIMS.

Balasubramaniam said that after verifying the medical documents, the CBI would file a short reply.

Senior counsel Salman Khurshid told the court that Shukla was suffering from life threatening transient ischemic attack (TIA) that makes him vulnerable to high risk of stroke and required TPA therapy.

TIA is caused due to blood clot in brain that blocks the artery. He said in his petition that Shukla had already suffered strokes and besides the possibility of further strokes, has a 5 to 6 percent chance of death in the coming year, the petition said.

The petitioner said that Delhi’s RML Hospital has said that Shukla should be taken to fully equipped tertiary level hospital within one hour of TIA stroke.

Besides TIA, Khurshid told the court, Shukla also suffered from spinal tumour inside the vertebra of his spine. The court was told that Shukla was on a high daily dose of pain killer medicines. Shukla, the court was told, also suffers from “unstable angina, uncontrolled hypertension and coronary artery disease”.

The petition said that Shukla suffers from Grade 4 weakness in both lower limbs accompanied by sensory loss and urinary incontinence and thus he can not perform daily activities without an attendant, which is not possible in custody. Grade 4 weakness is movement against external resistance, but less than normal.