Govt orders ‘exhaustive’ inquiry into ‘fraudulent’ selection of pharmacists in 2008

Srinagar: The state government has ordered an “exhaustive” inquiry into the selection of Dawasazs (pharmacists) whose qualification certificates had been issued “fraudulently” by the Indian System of Medicine (ISM) in 2008.
Headed by Joint Director Planning, Madan Lal, the panel has been asked to complete the enquiry within a week’s time, Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal Ganie informed a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation.
The panel has Tahir Mustafa Malik and Pooja Rasgotra, both under secretaries to Health and Medical Education Department, as members.
Awaiting the outcome of the enquiry, the division bench adjourned the PIL till August 10.
The order of adjournment by the court followed submissions by petitioner’s counsel, senior advocate BA Bashir.
“The court must ensure that the enquiry is completed within a week,” Bashir said, insisting that the inquiry on the face of it was part of what he described as delaying tactics by the government.
“Director ISM, the man who issued the fake certificates, should be removed and then only inquiry can be conducted. If he holds the post, his subordinates become members of the committee, what will be the fate of the report?” he said.
However, his contentions were opposed by the advocate general who submitted that none of the members of the panel were subordinate to the Director.
According to the PIL filed last year by “RTI activist” Abdul Rashid Tantry of Kupwara district, Director ISM in connivance with the top officials of the Directorate in 2008 allegedly issued fake pharmacists diploma certificates to about 400 persons, who later got jobs under NHRM scheme.
“The issue with regard to the issuance of certificates by (Director ISM) on mala fide considerations for his vested interests being a blatant fraud and providing public employment subsequently under HRHM Scheme is serious misconduct covered by Sec 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, for which FIR should have immediately been lodged against the director,” he said.
The court has also already ordered that the appointments made shall be subject to result of the PIL.
The petitioner has also sought transfer of Director ISM to prevent tampering of the records until investigation into the matter was completed.
The government, he said, should be directed to make legitimate selection of candidates for imparting Dawasaz training to them through a fair selection process.
He said that in 2008, 994 candidates were nominated “through backdoor means” by the ISM Directorate for undergoing “Dawasaz” training.
After a complaint was filed by some aggrieved candidates, the Government cancelled the list, vide order (No: 121 HME (GR of 2008)) on October 17, 2008, he said.
The ‘backdoor’ selected candidates, he said, filed a writ petition in High Court which was dismissed subsequently.
However, the Court had directed Government to expeditiously frame and formulate the norms and procedure for making nominations for undergoing Dawasaz training course.
The Director ISM, he said, again violated the Court orders and issued diploma certificates to people although there is no training institute in J&K.