SKIMS suspends pharmacist in embezzlement case

SKIMS suspends pharmacist in embezzlement case
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Detailed audit ordered

SRINAGAR: The Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura administration has suspended a pharmacist in the embezzlement of funds case and ordered a detailed audit in the pharmacy department.
The case pertains to the missing of many drugs and consumables from the Cath Lab drug counter wherein pharmacists had withheld public money at Pharmacy Department for more than a year.
Following the outcome of an inquiry report, Director SKIMS Dr Omar A Shah ordered a detailed audit in the pharmacy department.
According to officials, Medical Superintendent Dr Farooq Ahmad Jan has suspended the pharmacist Mushtaq Hussain Bhat after a huge money was recovered from him following the inquiry in the embezzlement of drugs and consumables.
“Mushtaq Hussain has been suspended and attached to the Faculty In-charge of Trust Hospital till further orders,” they said.
The inquiry committee constituted in July this year has indicted Bhat after finding shortage of Rs 28 lakh in the pharmacy department during 2016 and 2017.
Kashmir Reader was first to report, in August, about the embezzlement which prompted the administration to remove the Faculty In-charge Dr GH Yatoo from the Drug and Pharmacy.
As per official sources, the matter came to fore after an employee complained that pharmacy department officials were found withholding the fund originally meant to be deposited in the SKIMS accounts section within a few days after the sale of drugs and consumables.
An official privy to the inquiry committee said that every cash transaction as per financial code is to be deposited in the bank account and treasury on daily basis and no cash can be accumulated by a government employee in his/her custody.
“It is a case of embezzlement of government exchequer. The issue has been taken seriously by the SKIMS administration and inquiry has been ordered,” said the inquiry committee.
“The official of the pharmacy department named in the inquiry has violated the basic protocol and has accumulated cash of about Rs 28 lakh in his custody for more than a year during 2016 and 2018,” it said.
Medical Superintendent, Dr Farooq A Jan confirmed the development and said Director SKIMS has directed him to do complete the audit of the pharmacy department within 30 days.
“I along with Faculty In-charge of the Pharmacy, HoD Cardiology, Account Officer will inquire and audit the department afresh so that nothing remains hidden,” he said.
According to him, a huge withheld amount has already been recovered from the suspended pharmacist and more will be recovered after the audit is complete.
“We have taken the action after recovering the public money. We will see if more money is involved,” Dr Jan said.