Andhra ESI medicine scam: TDP leader K Atchennaidu sent to 14 days remand

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The ACB court has ordered 14 days remand for Senior Telugu Desam Party leader  K Atchennaidu.

 

The ACB Court Judge also ordered to provide Atchennaidu medical treatment due to his health condition.

ACB sleuths produced Atchennaidu before the judge at around 1.30 am. After the judge ordered his judicial remand, Atchennaidu was taken to Vijayawada sub jail at around 3.30 am. From there, he was shifted to Guntur General Hospital.

According to his advocate Posani Venkateawarlu, he had informed the court that Atchennaidu recently had a surgery on June 11. Despite that he was shifted from Srikakulam district to Vijayawada in a car on June 12.

The Judge then ordered for treatment to be provided to Atchennaidu at the Guntur General Hospital without further delay.

The case is posted for June 26.

TDP leader and former Andhra Pradesh Minister K Atchannaidu and five others were arrested on Friday  over their alleged involvement in the Rs 150 crore ESI medical purchases "scandal" during the previous Telugu Desam Party regime.

The other arrested include former Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESI) Directors C Ravi Kumar and G Vijay Kumar, joint director of ESI Janardhan, superintendent Chakravarthy and a senior assistant.

After coming to power last May, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had ordered an investigation.
Atchannaidu was the Labour Minister in the previous Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP government when the scandal allegedly took place in the procurement of medicines and medical equipment. 

The scandal involved irregularities in the purchase of medicines, surgical equipment, and furniture for four ESI hospitals, 3 ESI Diagnostic Centers and 78 ESI Dispensaries spread across the state.

The main accusation is that three former directors of Insurance Medical Services, which implements the ESI scheme, made purchases from firms, which were not empanelled with the government or Non Rate Contract firms. 

As per the report, they are accused of fabricating quotations from Non Rate Contract firms and paying excess rates, sometimes as high as 36 per cent. The purchases were made from Non Contract Rate firms without calling for tenders and excess amount was paid without negotiating the rates properly.

 

With inputs from Agency and media reports

Image credit: ANI

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