In the last two years, Sanjiv Chaturvedi unearthed a string of corruption cases at AIIMS, the country’s premier government hospital, doing exactly what he’s meant to as the main anti-graft watchdog or Chief Vigilance Officer.
But last weekend, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan ordered his dismissal from AIIMS, which has led Mr. Chaturvedi to demand that the CBI determine the reasons for his removal.
The Health Minister said today that the officer was wrongly assigned the post at AIIMS in the first place; reading anything more into it, he insisted, is incorrect. “Sanjiv Chaturvedi was not at all eligible for the post,” he said, stressing that the Central Vigilance Commission had not signed off on the appointment.
But late in May, a note from his own ministry had recognised Mr. Chaturvedi for his “absolute integrity.” Among those who had asked whether there were discrepancies in his appointment was JP Nadda, BJP general secretary.
One of the cases of corruption that Mr. Chaturvedi flagged involved a senior officer who was posted at AIIMS and belonged to Mr. Nadda’s home state of Himachal Pradesh.