Law dept sees red in plot allotted to minister for health care

Bhubaneswar: The controversy over the plot leased out to Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijayshree Routray’s wife for running a charitable health centre has once again raised its ugly head with the Law department recommending action for misappropriating the government land and questioned the existence of law in such case.

“Dispensary, whether charitable or otherwise, Nursing Home by whatever name called, comes within the meaning of Clinical Establishment as envisaged in the Orissa Clinical Establishment (Control &Regulation) Act, 1990. When the charitable dispensary is not registered under the Act, it does not exist in the eyes of law”, the letter of the Law department to government said.

Sources said State government had provided lands to 13 private parties including Bijayshree’s wife Jyoti Routray, a doctor by profession, for running charitable health centres. Later, after an inquiry, the lease of nine such lands was cancelled on the ground that these failed to satisfy the purpose. But, government’s move in the case of minister was completely different as the investigation into the alleged misuse of land was carried out twice unlike others.

Though the minister and his wife refused to comment on the issue, BJD has simply passed the buck on legal system.

“Law is equal for all and it will take its own course. The alleged misappropriation of land is being analysed. Nobody can give a slip during Naveen Patnaik regime”, BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy said.

On the other hand, Oppositions directly attacked the chief minister for his lackadaisical attitude in taking appropriate action against his cabinet colleague.

“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been protecting him showing many pleas.”Can a charitable health centre run beyond the constitutional guidelines? Definitely no”, Sajjan Sharma, BJP leader, said.

Similarly, Congress questioned the efficiency of chief minister Naveen Patnaik in tackling such an illegal matter.

“His clinic has not been registered under Clinical Establishment Act. The land, which he had taken from government, is being used in residential purpose. So, the land in question should be taken away. But, chief minister is unable to take it back”, Congress spokesperson Sarat Rout said.