Rajasthan News

ACB catch billionaire compounder in Jaipur

by RajasthanDirect
Jul 01, 2013

In one of its biggest catches, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Sunday arrested a compounder at SMS hospital here, who was also doubling as an advisor at Indian Nursing Council (INC) and seized properties worth crores of rupees.

The accused, Mahesh Chand Sharma, has been involved in cases of extortion, targeting nursing colleges and promising them various approvals from INC, New Delhi, since he joined it in 2007. Sharma owns a hospital, a resort and a farm house worth crores, among several other properties in Jaipur.

The arrest exposed high-level corruption in the INC since Sharma was recently “promoted” to an adviser’s position in the organization. After being arrested, Sharma mentioned that INC’s president T Dileep Kumar was also involved in corruption.

After catching Sharma red-handed while he was accepting a bribe of Rs 5 lakh from a nursing college director at a private hospital in Shipra Path owned by the former, the ACB raided his bungalow — spread over 800 square yards — in Vidhyut Nagar. Properties and companies worth over Rs 200 crore were found to be in the names of Sharma and his wife. The properties include partnership over 25 nursing colleges, ownership of RAG Hospital in Mansarovar, a resort in Jamwaramgarh and several houses in Jaipur.

Officials said that it is only an initial assessment and the value of property owned by him might go up. Some of the lockers found in his name or his family members’ name will be opened on Monday.

What left the agency investigators shocked is his reported confession in which Sharma categorically said that he was taking bribes on behalf of INC’s president, T Dileep Kumar.

DG, ACB, Ajit Singh told TOI that while Sharma and a private individual Rajendra Saini, who worked for the compounder have been arrested, the INC president’s name will be included in the FIR after “evaluation of evidence against him” and detailed investigation.

Officials said that every nursing college in the state had to pay bribes to Sharma for getting every INC approval for accreditation, including new courses, increase or decrease in seats, etc. Sharma used to “threaten” the nursing colleges with sudden inspections by INC teams.

Following Sharma’s arrest, some colleges in Udaipur, Ajmer and Pali and six others in Jaipur were being searched. Some other colleges were sealed by the agency for further investigation.

According to ACB officials, Mahesh Chand Sharma, who became a compounder in 1983, was nominated as a member of INC by the state government in 2007. He became an advisor in INC in May this year. He had sought voluntary retirement from his post as compounder in February last year. However, he was yet to get approval for the same from the government. An ACB official said that he has been absent from duty for a long time.

Sharma’s extortion racket was exposed when one Ramesh Chand Sharma, who runs a private college in Mansarovar, approached the ACB recently, complaining that the compounder was demanding Rs 5 lakh from him to facilitate approval from INC for some new nursing courses.

The ACB laid a trap and caught Sharma and Rajendra Saini from RAG Hospital, while taking a bribe of Rs 5 lakh.

“By the time the chargesheet will be filed, we will gather evidence in the case and will include the INC president’s name after evaluating them,” said the officer. Sharma was produced in a court that sent him to five-day police custody.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Billionaire-compounder-held-in-Jaipur/articleshow/20850699.cms

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