Lucknow/Ghaziabad, May 10 (IANS) Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Shukla, who held the charge of principal secretary (medical health) in the previous Mayawati government, was Thursday arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) scam.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had earlier grilled the 1981-batch IAS officer for more than nine hours March 22, arrested him from the Amausi airport in Lucknow, agency sources said.
Shukla was produced before a special CBI court in Ghaziabad which sent to the agency's custody for four days till May 17.
The CBI had requested the court to grant them them 10 days custody.
In its application, the CBI submitted that Shukla, as the then principal secretary (medical health, was the head of committee that decided the allotment of the contracts to different agencies, due which the state suffered a loss of about Rs.30 crore.
The agency submitted that Shukla, named in three FIRs, had only appeared once before the agency and did not cooperate in the investigation.
Opposing the CBI's plea, defence counsel Jai Prakash Sharma submitted that the CBI wanted to falsely implicate Shukla in the scam. It did not possesses any evidence against Shukla and so the CBI plea deserved to be rejected, he said.
In Lucknow, agency sources told IANS that Shukla's complicity in awarding contracts worth Rs.1,170 crore without an open tender during 2009-2011 period for construction of hospitals and disbursement of a fund of Rs.1,546 crore to an unauthorized society, was 'beyond doubt'.
Shukla is believed to have disclosed names of some top government functionaries and politicians linked to the scam that rocked the Mayawati government.
Sources told IANS that Shukla was likely to be flown to the New Delhi headquarters of the agency for further questioning.
The Allahabad High Court, which is monitoring the NHRM probe, had recently rapped the CBI for tardy progress in the case.