CBI arrests Homeopathy Council chief in bribery case

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) The CBI on Saturday arrested Central Council of Homeopathy President Ramjee Singh and another person on charges of accepting Rs 20 lakh in bribe to give a favourable inspection report for setting up a homeopathy college.

Singh, who was elected council chief in 2009, was arrested along with tour and travel operator Harishankar Jha during a raid by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following a complaint.

CBI spokesperson R.K. Gaur told IANS that Jha, a resident of Gurgaon in Haryana, had collected Rs 20 lakh on behalf of Singh, who has served both as president and secretary of the Homeopathic Association of India.

The Central Council of Homoeopathy, a statutory body under the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, is a regulatory authority for homoeopathy system of medicine.

Singh and Jha were booked along with Assistant Director Homeopathy (Gujarat) R.D. Patel, one of the trustees and Vice-President of R.K. University (Gujarat) Dinesh Kumar Patel and a Professor of a homeopathic medical college in Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) Rahul Srivastava on charges of criminal conspiracy and Prevention of Corruption Act.

Others named in the First Information Report (FIR) include an official of the National Institute of Homeopathy (Kolkata) Ashok Konar, an official of a homeopathy college and hospital in Rohtak (Haryana) Ashwani Arya and unknown others.

Separate CBI teams carried out searches at residential and official premises of the accused in Delhi, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Jabalpur and Kolkata and seized incriminating documents, the officer said.

“Another team conducted searches in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area against some hawala operators,” the officer said.

The officer said the CBI had seized Rs 21.5 lakh from Jha’s residence.

“Gujarat-based R.K. University had applied for setting up a homeopathy college and the varsity Vice-President Dinesh Kumar Patel was in regular contact with Singh and Jha for getting inspection by such a team of inspectors of the Central Council of Homeopathy who would give favourable inspection report,” the officer said.

Singh deputed a three-member team, including Rahul Srivastava, from the National Institute of Homeopathy (Kolkata) and Homeopathy College and Hospital (Rohtak) to conduct the inspection, the officer said.

“The inspection was conducted in September. Singh demanded illegal gratification and a part payment of Rs 20 lakh was to be delivered in New Delhi and the same was to be collected from a hawala operator,” the officer said.

–IANS

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