NRHM scam: Senior IAS officer detained

Lucknow: Senior IAS officer Pradeep Shukla was today detained here and questioned by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam.

A 1981-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, 55-year-old Shukla was detained while on his way to the airport, official sources said, adding the CBI had repeatedly summoned him to appear before the agency for questioning.

Though CBI officially maintained that he had neither been detained nor arrested, agency sources said that Shukla may be placed under arrest.

Shukla, who was Principal Secretary Family Welfare in the state government during the tenure of former minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, has been named in three new cases registered by the agency in its probe of alleged irregularities in Central funds meant for NRHM, the sources said.

The total cost of projects in which these three cases have been registered is over Rs 250 crore and mainly deal with the construction and upgradation works in hospitals across UP.

Besides Shukla, the agency has named former DG Family Welfare S P Ram and General Manager UP Small Industries Corporation Abhay Kumar Bajpai in the new cases.

Kushwaha, who is already lodged in the jail for his alleged involvement in the scam, has levelled allegations against Shukla for being among the officials who have signed the papers for fictitious payments.