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A top former officer of a government hospital and others have been acquitted by a Delhi court of the charges of cheating and causing a loss of over Rs three crore to the institution by purchasing medical equipments from a foreign supplier at exorbitant rates. Special Judge Vinay Kumar Khanna absolved Dr O P Jain, the then medical superintendent of G B Pant Hospital here, Consolidated Products Corporation Pvt Ltd and its director Sunil Saigal of the charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy under the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act in the 20-year-old case. "This court finds that the prosecution has failed to establish that the accused had cheated the government exchequer or had entered into any conspiracy.
It has not been established that they had caused any wrongful gain to themselves or defrauded the government," the judge said. The court said it has not been proved that Jain gave any pecuniary advantage to Saigal and the firm, an Indian agent of the foreigner suppliers, as commission or as exorbitant price of Rs 3.21 crore. It said the prosecution has not been able to prove that Jain had adopted illegal means or abused his official position by dishonestly showing favour to the firm and its director. CBI had lodged a case in July 1997 alleging that Jain, who was the medical superintendent of the hospital from 1988- 1990, and store officer P K Banerjee, who has died, had conspired with Saigal to cheat the institution. It alleged that they placed 35 orders on Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) to purchase medical equipments from foreign suppliers, of which Consolidated Products Corporation Pvt Ltd was an Indian agent, without any requirement. The two public servants dishonestly issued documents to purchase medical equipments from foreign suppliers to cause pecuniary advantage to Saigal and the firm, which imported huge quantities of medical equipments at exorbitant rates, the agency alleged. During the trial, Jain claimed he had not committed any irregularity or discrepancy in making purchases for the hospital and that during his tenure, he followed all rules and regulations as prescribed by Delhi Government. The firm and Saigal also denied having any role in the irregularities and claimed that the allegations were false.
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