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Court Issues Notice to Venugopal Over Fund Irregularities

A Delhi court has issued notices to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director P. Venugopal and three others. The petition was filed by a former patient alleging// that the state-run hospital had illegally collected about Rs.450 million in excess from patients undergoing treatment at its cardiac and neuro center.

Additional Sessions Judge Swarnakanta Mehra issued notices Thursday to Venugopal, Mayank Sharma, former senior financial advisor, Arti Viz, former public relations officer, and the AIIMS to file their replies by May 17 to the allegations in the petition filed by Abdul Mabood.

The court also summoned the record of the magistrate's court after counsel V.K. Ohri appearing for Mabood said that the metropolitan magistrate did not take action despite the police's failure to register a criminal case against the accused.

Ohri had filed an application before the sessions court seeking direction to the magistrate court for expediting the proceedings of the case.

Mabood alleged that the Delhi Police did not file a complaint against Venugopal.

After receiving a notice from the court, Delhi Police Joint Commissioner Ranjit Narayan had told it that the matter had been referred by the union health ministry to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for further probe.

Mabood, a resident of Greater Kailash in South Delhi, had filed the petition in the district court seeking direction for a vigilance probe against the respondents after registering a case against them for alleged collection of excess funds from patients and depositing the same in another account in contravention of the AIIMS Act.

"For about 10 years, the cardio-thoracic center and neuro-science center had been collecting fees from patients in advance for various procedures such as angiography, angioplasty, by-pass surgery and brain surgery," said the petition.

After the expenditure, about Rs.450 millio n had been left in the account over 10 years, which should have been returned to the patients, said the petitioner.

Source-IANS/V
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