Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has approved "disciplinary proceedings" against a senior Himachal Pradesh IAS officer who is facing a CBI inquiry into allegations of financial irregularities during his previous stint with the AIIMS in Delhi.In a communique to the chief secretary, the AIIMS vigilance cell told the state: "The AIIMS president, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, has approved initiation of disciplinary proceedings for major penalty against then deputy director (administration) Vineet Chawdhry."Chawdhry, a 1982 batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer who is now additional chief secretary health and family welfare with the state, did not respond despite repeated attempts by IANS to contact him.The letter, which was received by the state chief secretary Monday, said: "Proceedings under rule 8 of the All India Services (Disciplinary and Appeal) Rules of 1969 initiated for financial irregularities and abuse of official position."The letter was signed by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) chief vigilance officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi who was removed from the post last week.
It said as on date, Chawdhry's vigilance profile is that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a preliminary enquiry Jan 9, 2014 against him in a case of granting illegal extension in service to B.S. Anand, the then superintending engineer of AIIMS, for a period of one year beyond the date of superannuation, by misrepresenting/misleading the facts."The name of Vineet Chawdhry is in the agreed list (year 2012) for the reason of his suspected misconduct having corruption angle in view of documentary evidences. The said list was prepared with the approval of the superintendent of police, CBI, anti-corruption branch, New Delhi," said the letter, accessed by IANS.The letter, which asked the state for issuance of vigilance clearance, further said in the purchases of livery items in 2009 and 2010, Chawdhry caused financial loss to AIIMS.
In an earlier case of illegal gratification (in 2009), the anti-corruption branch of the CBI, Hyderabad unit, had recommended imposition of major penalty against Chawdhry, the letter added.Official sources said even a complaint was filed by Delhi-based NGO Janhit Abhiyan in September 2012 against Chawdhry alleged "abuse of official position, corruption and wasteful expenditure of public funds".The charges included corruption in engineering wing, heavy misuse of government vehicle, treatment of pet dog at cancer centre, serious irregularities in various recruitments and lavish expenditure on his office renovation.The NGO, in its complaint, also alleged that the corruption cases were pending in the central vigilance commission against Chawdhry."However, even after a lapse of around two years, there is no information available about the status of action taken on the complaint."