The Rajasthan Police has expressed their inability to probe alleged irregularities in the ambulance scam in which former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and former Union minister Sachin Pilot are named as accused.
The police have recommended to the Vasundhara Raje government that the case be referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In June this year, the Jaipur police had registered an FIR against Congress leaders, including Gehlot and Pilot, on a complaint filed by former Jaipur deputy mayor Pankaj Joshi, a BJP leader, in July, 2013.
The complaint said Gehlot favoured Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd (ZHL) while awarding tender for operation of the ‘108’ ambulance service in the state from 2010-11.
Other leaders named in the FIR include Karti Chidambaram and Ravi Krishna, sons of former Union ministers P. Chidambaram and Vayalar Ravi, respectively. According to the complaint, both Krishna and Karti, along with current Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, were directors in the company. Former state health minister A.A. Khan, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s former economic advisor Shafi Mather, Ziqitza Healthcare’s then CEO Shweta Mangal and then director, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) have been booked in the case. The case was referred to the crime branch of the state police in June. But four months after it, the police have thrown up their hands in the air.
Rajasthan Director General of Police Omendra Bhardwaj said, “As the matter involved former Union ministers and their relatives, and also central government officers, a CBI investigation was recommended.”
On Saturday, State Health Minister Rajendra Rathore said the final call on the police recommendation will be taken by Chief Minister Raje, who also holds home portfolio, after returning from her Singapore tour on Sunday.
“There was no political vendetta in initiating the investigation into the scam,” he asserted.
Rathore was reacting to former chief minister Gehlot’s comment that the state police had acted under Raje government’s pressure as there was “no substance in the allegation”.
Pilot on his part had already served a legal notice to the BJP leader immediately after the FIR was registered. His complaint termed the allegation “wild and false and unsubstantiated”.