Himachal Cong to seek HC-monitored probe into health scam Himachal Cong to file case for'

Shimla, Jun 8 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh Congress will soon approach the high court seeking a probe monitored by it into the alleged bribery case involving the director of health services.

State Congress general secretary Vikramaditya Singh reiterated the party's demand of entrusting a probe into the case to a sitting HC judge.

Singh, who represents Shimla rural in the state assembly, said if the state government did not entrust a probe to a sitting HC judge, the Congress will approach the court seeking at least a high court-monitored inquiry into the health scam.

The Congress will also talk to lone CPM MLA Rakesh Singha before going to the court, he added.

Director (Health Services) Ajay Kumar Gupta was arrested on May 20 over allegations of corruption in the purchase of Personal Protection Equipment kits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 43-second audio recording had surfaced online, in which Gupta purportedly asked for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from Prithvi Singh,a liasioning officer of a Punjab-based firm.

Even, state BJP president Rajeev Bindal had to resign from his post on 'moral grounds' as he was close to the employee.

The Congress leader alleged that Bindal's resignation was a 'mere eyewash'.

He said Himachal Pradesh earned a dubious distinction of the most corrupt state during the coronavirus period and demanded that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur step down on moral grounds.

A fair investigation into the scam was not possible until Thakur remains the chief minister and holds additional charge as health minister, he said.

He alleged that the health scam, which is being investigated by the state Vigilance Bureau, is only a tip of the iceberg. Tailor made tenders are being floated in several areas especially in Solan and Baddi to provide benefit to BJP leaders and their families, he claimed.

Singh said state officials especially in IPH, PWD and Civil Supplies department are not doing even routine work and making excuses. He asked the government to send a message through chief secretary to its officials to resume work as 'Unlock-1' is now in force.

He also sought relief packages and help for hoteliers and apple orchardists.