Cuttack: Odisha vigilance today arrested SCB Medical College & Hospital doctor Dr Sudha Sethy on charges of abusing her official position and misappropriation of Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF).
Dr Sudha was arrested in the morning and produced before the court of Special Judge, Vigilance, Cuttack.
Rejecting the bail plea, the court sent Dr Sudhy to judicial custody till Dec 26.
Dr Sudha, Assistant Professor of Clinical Hematology Department in SCB, along with her HoD Dr Rabindra Kumar Jena is accused of making criminal conspiracy, abusing official position, showing undue official favour to different pharmaceutical companies, cheating and misappropriation of government funds.
Dr Sudha, who is also a Nodal officer of OSTF, was arrested following Vigilance sleuths conducted raid at residence of Dr Sudha and Dr Jena last night.
According to reports, the vigilance launched the probe on basis of the allegations against Dr Jena and Dr Sudha. The duo were allegedly showing favour to different pharmaceutical firms by prescribing their high cost medicines to poor patients getting financial assistance for their treatment under OSTF launched by the state government in December 2011 for poor coming under BPL category who are suffering from the diseases like cancer and chronic heart ailments.
During the probe, it was found that Dr Jena and Dr Sudha were sending the application forms of the poor beneficiaries with estimate for expenditure mentioning the generic/molecular name of the medicines instead of prescribing specific medicines, which were available in the central store of the SCB Hospital.
The probe further revealed that the accused were prescribing ‘Atgam’ injection – produced by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company – to the poor patients, which costs almost double the cost of ‘Thymogam’ that is available in SCB store and market, thereby causing huge loss to the government exchequer and depriving the poor patients from availing the benefits under the OSTF scheme.
The vigilance registered a criminal case under section 13(2) r/w 13(1) (c) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988/409/420/34/120-B IPC against Dr Jena, Dr Sudha, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies.
The prime accused Dr Jena has been evading the inquiry and his whereabouts are yet to be ascertained.
Vigilance is taking steps to trace and arrest him.
Notably, the vigilance sleuths had earlier raided the office and residences of Dr Jena in November for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.