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CBI books AIIMS-Rishikesh professor in equipment purchase scam

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NEW DELHI, Aug 23: The CBI has booked a professor of AIIMS-Rishikesh and two private companies for
alleged irregularities in purchasing advanced vessel sealing equipment used for sealing blood vessels
during surgery, officials said on Wednesday.
The CBI has registered the FIR against Professor Balram Ji Omar as well as private companies Arogya
International and Riya Agencies, and others for allegedly causing wrongful loss to AIIMS-Rishikesh to the
tune of more than Rs 6.57 crore in the purchase and corresponding undue advantage to themselves,
they said.
According to the FIR, the technical tender for Advanced Vessel Sealing Equipment was opened on
October 12, 2018, in which private firm Arogya International had qualified and also emerged as the
lowest bidder in financial bids opened on January 5, 2019.
“Dr Balram Ji Omar, Procurement Officer, vide his note dated January 10, 2019, recommended for
purchase of 7 vessel sealing equipment at a highly exorbitant price of over Rs 55.38 lakh per unit
totalling Rs 3.87 crore from Riya Agencies, Jodhpur, instead of the qualified bidder Arogya
International,” the FIR alleged.
The CBI alleged that the conditions of the tender were “openly flouted” by Omar in the procurement
process and other tender committee members to show undue favour to Arogya International and Riya
In their bid documents, the equipment cost with accessories supplied to AIIMS Delhi by Arogya
International and other hospitals was deliberately masked by it, the FIR alleged.
“This vital fact was deliberately ignored by procurement officer Dr Balram Ji Omar and other members
of the tender evaluation committee,” it alleged.
The CBI had detected the irregularities during a surprise check at AIIMS-Rishikesh.
The FIR alleged that Omar recommended Riya Agencies despite knowing fully well that the company,
which had only traded in medicine, was neither the bidder, manufacturer, authorized distributor or
equipment dealer nor it had ever supplied any such equipment previously to any government or
reputed private organization.
“Seven advanced vessel sealing equipment were procured at the highly exorbitant price of Rs 54.82 lakh
per unit from Riya Agencies, Jodhpur, against the price of Rs 19.92 lakh at which AIIMS-Rishikesh had
purchased the same equipment from India Meditronic Pvt. Ltd, Gurugram, on October 23, 2018. Balram
Ji Omar, being the procurement officer, was well aware of this fact,” the FIR alleged.
The CBI alleged that in the conspiracy to cheat AIIMS-Rishikesh, Omar sought the benchmark price from
Arogya International to justify the exorbitant price he recommended.
“The facts prima-facie disclose that the accused public servant and other unknown public servants
entered into a criminal conspiracy with partners of Arogya International and Riya Agencies.
“By abusing their official position as public servants, they showed undue favour to Arogya International
and Riya Agencies in the purchase of advanced vessel sealing equipment at a highly exorbitant price and
thereby caused wrongful loss to AIIMS-Rishikesh to the tune of more than Rs 6.57 crore and
corresponding undue advantage to themselves,” the FIR alleged. (PTI)

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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