Maharashtra health department clerk accused of bribery; suspended
The Maharashtra Heath Ministry is under scanner for the alleged bribery charges against one of its clerks, Chandvadane Hagavane, by independent MLA Bachchu Kadu.
Reportedly, while the state government organized a probe by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) against the clerk, the Central government initiated a departmental inquiry. Meanwhile, Hagavane has been suspended.
“To ascertain whether it is only a clerk who is involved in such malpractices or there is a deeper nexus in the department, I have recommended departmental and ACB probe,” said Suresh Shetty, the public health minister of Maharashtra.
The bribery matter was unveiled by Achalpur’s MLA Bachchu Kadu on Friday. After accusing Hagavane of seeking bribes from doctors for their appointment as medical officers in the state, the MLA also assaulted the clerk, outraging the state government employees, who began a strike to protest against attack on a government staffer.
Students also at fault, says senior official
A senior official in the health department said that the clerk will not be defended, but it was wrong on the part of students to offer bribes.
“The policy is clear. Everyone who has cleared will be given the posting as a medical officer in his home town (district). The merit list of the shortlisted candidates to be appointed as medical officers is available online. Despite this, if students are using MLAs and local politicians for plum postings, it is not fair,” he said.
Government’s action called biased
The Maharashtra State Government Employees’ Central Confederation’s general secretary, Subhash Gangurde, said that the government’s action was biased.
“The union does not support the action of the clerk. Our contention is that even Kadu, who took law into his hands, should be punished for his act. But so far action is only being taken against a government employee. The Democratic Front government is not uttering a single word against Kadu’s action,” Gangurde said.
He said that the union would raise the issue with the Legislative Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil next week.
What had happened?
While a case has been registered against the MLA by the Marine Drive police, they are still looking out for him.
Additional Chief Secretary (health) Jayant Banthia said, “Kadu had been interacting with Hagavane over the appointment of doctors from Amravati. On Friday morning, they had an argument after which Kadu assaulted the clerk.”
“He also submitted a letter complaining against the clerk to the minister’s private secretary, Chandrakant Pulkundwar. Kadu then thrashed Hagavane again inside Pulkundwar’s cabin,” Banthia concluded.