Delhi Health Minister Shri Saurabh has recommended immediate suspension of Delhi’s health secretary S.B Deepak Kumar by the Lieutenant Governor and Central Govt on the issue of irregularity in purchase of medicines supplied in Delhi government hospitals to ensure fair inquiry in the case. The minister has also demanded strict action against the then DGHS Dr Nutan Mundeja in the matter.
Addressing a press conference at the Delhi Secretariat, Delhi’s Health Minister, Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj, expressed displeasure over the continuous circulation of news through newspapers and news channels that certain samples of medicines and other products used in Delhi government hospitals have not met the prescribed standards. Despite such incidents, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor (LG) has not taken any firm action against the officials concerned.

The Delhi Health Minister demands immediate suspension and strict actions by the LG and Central Govt against Delhi’s Health Secretary, S.B Deepak Kumar and then DGHS Dr Nutan Mundeja on this issue. Minister Bharadwaj expressed that upon assuming ministership in March 2023, he ordered an audit of medicines, equipment, and consumables on 21.03.2023 to the Health Secretary then DGHS. Despite his repeated reminders to the Health Secretary regarding the audit, no action was taken. Minister Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj mentioned that in October, a complaint was lodged with the L.G. against the Health Secretary and then DGHS due to their obstructionist approach, but no action was taken by LG & Central Government. The Health Minister stated that after the disappointment from the LG’s office, we knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court to initiate action on this sensitive issue.

Delhi’s Health Minister Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj stated that after assuming ministerial responsibilities on March 9, he held a meeting with the Health Secretary, Director General of Health Services (DGHS), and other health department officials on March 21. During the meeting, he issued an unequivocal order to the Health Secretary to conduct an audit of all medicines, equipment, and consumables purchased for Delhi government hospitals. The orders and decisions taken during this meeting, along with the minutes of the meeting, were published on April 3. However, Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar did not take any notice of this and did not initiate any audit related to the procurement of medicines. In July, after taking note of the directions given in this meeting, he sent a reminder to the Health Secretary questioning why the orders had not been implemented and why there had been no audit of medicines and other items purchased for Delhi government hospitals. Despite the reminder, the Health Secretary did not take any action.

Delhi’s Health Minister Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj stated that he has issued orders several times to the Health Secretary to conduct an audit regarding the procurement of medicines. However, Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar has not conducted any audit, nor has any report been submitted to the Health Minister’s office. It is evident that he, as the minister, wants transparency. If there are irregularities in the procurement of medicines, he wants them to be exposed, and action to be taken against the guilty officials. However, it appears that Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar was unwilling to conduct an audit of medicines procurement, and if there were any irregularities in the procurement, he did not want them to come to light.

The Delhi Health Minister raised questions about Delhi’s LG and the BJP-led Central Government. The Minister mentioned, “I have repeatedly issued orders to the Health Secretary for an audit. Still, the Health Secretary has not conducted any audit. The LG and the BJP-led government should take strict action against these guilty officials. Shouldn’t these officials be suspended? Despite continuous reminders, Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar has not conducted an audit, should the LG and the BJP-led government not take strict action against these guilty officials. I want to know if an investigation is conducted now, will it be impartial, given that the officer responsible for the audit is himself implicated in the matter? Will the health secretary not influence the investigation?

Minister Shri Saurabh Bharadwaj, questioning the Central government and the LG, expressed, “It is quite clear that the BJP-led Central Government is actively working to protect the officials involved in the wrongdoing. Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar, responsible for the Health Department, should regularly inspect departmental activities, conduct audits of medicine procurement, and fulfil his duties appropriately. However, the Health Secretary has failed to do so. Before my recommendation, the LG should have suspended them.”

The Health Minister pointed out that in October, in a written communication addressed to the LG, through Delhi’s CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, he had complained to the LG about the Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar and the then DGHS Dr Nutan Mundeja. He informed the LG that these officers are deliberately trying to obstruct the essential policies of the Delhi Government, especially schemes like the ‘Farishtey Scheme’ and other initiatives of the Health Department. These officers have withheld funds for other such schemes.

The Delhi Health Minister demanded strict action against these officials and expressed his disappointment that despite his written communication to the LG, these officers have been spared. Regrettably, they had to approach the Supreme Court due to the lack of action by the LG and the absence of any action against Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar and former DGHS Dr Nutan Mundeja. I’m surprised; does the LG need my letter in order to suspend these officers. These are Central Government officers only , they can take action immediately. Now again I’m recommending it to the BJP-led Central Government.

When expressing your views in the comments, please use clean and dignified language, even when you are expressing disagreement. Also, we encourage you to Flag any abusive or highly irrelevant comments. Thank you.