August 19, 2021

Himachal high court

Vijyender Sharma

SHIMLA-------In a matter related to financial irregularities in  allotment of Pharmacy shop in campus of Regional Hospital, Una, the  High Court of  H.P. has directed the Chief Secretary to the Government of Himachal Pradesh to initiate appropriate proceedings against the Medical Superintendent-cum-member Secretary, Rogi Kalyan Samiti, Una and Chief Medical Officer-cum-Member, Rogi Kalyan Samiti, Una for violating the law, causing financial irregularities and for all such acts committed by them, including offences regarding breach of trust and other related Sections of the Indian Penal Code.

                        A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice  Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua  passed these orders on a writ petition filed by  Una District Chemists & Druggists Alliance(UDCDA), (a unit of Himachal Pradesh Society of Chemists and Druggists Alliance). The Petitioner has alleged that in the year 2017, Rogi Kalyan Samiti, Regional Hospital, Una after calling  bids by publishing notice, allotted a Pharmacy shop in  campus of Regional Hospital, Una for a monthly rent of Rs. One lakh with 10% increase after three years and security money of Rs.Two lakhs was to be deposited.  But  after three years on 18.03.2020, the shop has been allotted  at a monthly rent of Rs.9,800/-,  without there being any clause for increase of rent and above all, to a person, who is not even a Pharmacist.  The petitioner has alleged that  he  filed representations in this behalf to the Hon'ble Chief Minister, H.P., Secretary(Health), to the Government of H.P., and Director Health Services, H.P.,   but  no action was taken.   He has  alleged  that the tender has been awarded without issuing any notice or publishing it  in  any newspaper or social media  He has prayed to quash the allotment made vide letter dated 18.03.2020 with the direction to official respondents to follow proper procedure for allotment of the shop in question.

            The Court observed that publication calling for a tender of such a high value should have been given appropriate coverage to ensure that the participating bidders offer the highest rate to the Government, but  the respondents have deliberately avoided the procedure. The Court further  observed that  the act of  granting the tender of a Pharmacy shop to a non-pharmacist,  has put the lives of the public in danger.  The Court also observed that a financial irregularity has also been committed as  the rent of the property fetched on the previous round, was Rs.1,00,000/- per month for  the first three years and this time it has been awarded for a sum of Rs.9,800/- per month, without any security deposit and an advance of three months rent only has been sought for.  The Court observed that it is not only an error committed by them but is a deliberate act of causing a financial irregularity and a procedural violation that has led to miscarriage of justice.

            Allowing the petition, the Court quashed the award of tender and directed the respondent Munish Kumar to handover the vacant possession to the Deputy Commissioner, Una on or before August 20.  The Court also  directed that henceforth the respondents, i.e. the Medical Superintendent-cum-member Secretary, Rogi Kalyan Samiti, Una and Chief Medical Officer-cum-member, Rogi Kalyan Samiti, Una shall  not deal with any financial matter in any aspect whatsoever and the functioning of these respondents shall hereafter be conducted by the Deputy Commissioner, Una, until the inquiry and the criminal proceedings are completed.

            The Court directed the State to submit compliance report by August 23. 

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