In his letter to health minister Harsh Vardhan, Rajya Sabha MP JP Nadda demanded not only the removal of Sanjiv Chaturvedi as CVO AIIMS but also his repatriation to the parent cadre, Haryana.
Pankaj Kumar | September 24, 2014 | New Delhi
When Sanjeev Chaturvedi, known for bringing many a scam to light, was removed from the post of the central vigilance officer of the AIIMS, it was speculated that BJP vice-president JP Nadda was behind the move. Now, letters from this Himachal Pradesh politician to health minister Harsh Vardhan have become public, proving hollow the BJP’s claims to the contrary.
Read our previous stories: Why Sanjiv Chaturvedi was shown the door
Why Chaturvedi’s removal as AIIMS CVO defies logic
Nadda in his letter dated on June 24 to Harsh Vardhan demanded not only the removal of Chaturvedi as CVO AIIMS but also his repatriation to the parent cadre, Haryana. Given the threat to his life in Haryana, the central vigilance commission (CVC) had on July 13, 2011 asked the government to provide him security, leading to the centre’s unilateral decision to relieve him from his parent cadre. This rare move was meant only to protect him from any threat in the home state – something that Nadda wanted to overturn.
Interestingly, Nadda also requested the health minister to withhold all enquiries initiated by Chaturvedi and let them be reviewed by his successor. He even recommended the name of Dr Vinod Pal as CVO. Dr Pal is said to be very close to former AIIMS deputy director Vineet Choudhary. “All attempts were made to save Choudhary as in any ongoing enquiry the role of CVO is important since the CVO coordinates with CVC and CBI,” said a source in the health ministry.
As per the office note of Harsh Vardhan, Nadda met him in his office on July 16 and pressed his demand to remove Chaturvedi, and the minister’s office ordered the health secretary to put up a proposal to this effect. On August 3, Nadda met Harsh Vardhan in parliament and reiterated his demand, after which the office of the minister immediately ordered the health secretary to put up the proposal to remove Chaturvedi.
On this direction from the health minister, a note was put up by ministry officials only mentioning the letter of Nadda who had pointed out there was no CVC approval for the post. The note, however, did not mention the statutory approvals of the standing finance committee (SFC), governing body (GB) and institute body (IB) regarding the creation of the post of CVO between July 2010 to February 2012 and also concealing the commitments given to the parliamentary committee on June 8, 2012 and January 7, 2013. Then in a period of 24 hours during August 13/14, 20 officials signed the proposal without anyone making any notings.
CVC, of course, had not raised any objections to Chaturvedi’s appointment and entertaining all correspondence with him over two years.
A press release issued by the ministry on August 23 and a tweet by the health minister on the same day said that Chaturvedi was removed only because he was not eligible and because his name was rejected twice by the CVC. The fact, however, is that there is no document to prove that his name was ever rejected by CVC.
[Read: Rajya Sabha MP JP Nadda's letter to health and family welfare minister Harsh Vardhan]
[Read: How minister Harsh Vardhan moved file in a hurry to get other officers' signatures]
[Read: Health secretary's May 23 letter clarifying all rules followed in Chaturvedi's appointment]
[Read: Health ministries August 14 letter hiding facts regarding Churvedi's appointment as CVO]
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