Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Vigilance today arrested Dr. Rabindra Kumar Jena, Head of Clinical Hematology Department of SCB Medical College & Hospital in Cuttack, on charges of misappropriation of Odisha State Treatment Fund (OSTF).
Jena was arrested near Laxmannathpur in Balasore district while he was returning Odisha from West Bengal, reports said.
He was later produced before a Vigilance court which sent him to judicial custody till January 3 after rejecting his bail plea.
Besides, the Vigilance has sought from the court a five-day remand of Jena and a hearing in this regard will take place tomorrow.
Notably, the anti-corruption agency had on December 13 arrested Dr. Sudha Sethy, Assistant Professor of the Clinical Hematology Department, after raiding houses of her and Jena.
Both Jena and Sethy are accused of criminal conspiracy, misusing official position, showing undue favour to different pharmaceutical companies, cheating and misappropriation of government funds.
According to reports, the Vigilance had launched a probe on the basis of allegations against the two. The duo had allegedly shown favour to different pharmaceutical firms by prescribing its high cost medicines to poor patients getting financial assistance for their treatment under OSTF launched by the state government in December 2011.
During the probe, it was found that Jena and Sethy 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 has 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.