Pune Covid 19 Scam : FIR registered against former PMC health officials

Pune Pulse

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Pune: A recent scandal has rocked the health sector in Pune, as former top health officials are now under investigation for their alleged involvement in a fraudulent COVID testing kit scheme. 

The accused include the former Health Chief, Dr. Ashish Bharti, and Medical Officers Dr. Aruna Suryakant Tarade and Dr. Rishikesh Hanumant Gardi, all of whom served in key roles at the Municipal Corporation.

The complaint, filed by the former Health Officer Satish Baburav Kolusare at Warje Police Station, alleges that the trio orchestrated a scam resulting in the embezzlement of an estimated Rs 60 to 70 lakhs . The incident is said to have taken place at Arvind Bartakke Hospital in Warje during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.

According to police sources, Dr. Tarade, Dr. Gardi, and Dr. Bharti are accused of colluding to manipulate literature procurement for COVID testing at the hospital. This literature included testing kits, sanitizers, and medicines. The charges suggest that the accused officials acted in their self-interest and collaborated with other individuals for personal gain.

The investigation has uncovered discrepancies in official documents, pointing to the creation of false records. Allegedly, these fabricated papers were used to deceive both the Maharashtra government and the Pune Municipal Corporation, securing funds for literature intended for COVID testing. The documents also indicate the improper use of testing kits designated for government labs and authorised testing centres.

The misuse of testing kits, originally allocated for government labs and authorised personnel, came to light when citizens reported irregularities. False entries in government records suggested a high number of individuals undergoing testing, raising suspicion of fraudulent practices.

Senior Police Inspector Jaitapurkar said that, as per the complaint filed by the complainant, we have registered an FIR against the accused and initiated a detailed probe in this case.

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