On August 6 last year, the CBI registered a case about a massive scam in the opening of medical colleges by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). The ESIC case relates to alleged illegal sanction of 31 medical institutes in 2007, worth Rs 20,000 crore, on which Rs 10,000 crore of insured persons’ money had allegedly been spent—this when the ESIC’s total expenditure estimates for 2019-20 were about Rs 16,000 crore.

The CBI has made little progress in the case in the past one year as the Union government is sitting on the agency’s request to grant sanction for prosecution, under Section 17(A) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, of three of the eight accused—P.C. Chaturvedi, then director general of ESIC; Rajiv Dutt, then finance commissioner; and P.R. Roy, then chief engineer. The CBI FIR says a consultant, D. Kumar, among the accused, was involved in creating companies that purchased medical equipment worth hundreds of crores…

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