Last Updated: September 16, 2023, 01:12 IST
Even as investigations into four different cases pertaining to the alleged “Covid scam” by officers from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and contractors are underway by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Mumbai police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW), almost two months after the first arrest by the central agency in the Lifeline Hospital Management Services (LHMS) case, it has filed a charge sheet.
The charge sheet, which runs into 78 pages excluding annexures, has statements from more than 40 witnesses.
What ED says
According to the ED, the investigation found that the proceeds of the crime in the case were around Rs 32 crore. However, no attachments have been made in the matter so far, and this, sources say, will happen in the next few weeks.
The charge sheet names Sujit Patkar, who is believed to be a close aide of Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut, Dr Kishor Bisure (BMC medical officer), and three other people.
ED raids in this case were also conducted at the residences of IAS officer Sanjeev Jaiswal and Suraj Chavan, a core committee member of the Yuva Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction) in June.
Following this, Patkar and Bisure were arrested as part of the investigation.
What is the case?
Lifeline Hospital got a contract for a Covid field hospital at Dahisar. It received over Rs 30 crore as payment from the BMC, but only Rs 8 crore was used for actual work, according to the allegations.
During the Covid pandemic, several field hospitals were constructed and used by the BMC. In the initial FIR at Azad Maidan police station, it was alleged that most contracts related to field hospital management were allotted under political influence by BMC officials at inflated costs.
The FIR also alleged that the civic body on the directions of then additional municipal commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal and his seniors allotted work to LHMS for managing the field hospital at Dahisar.
Of the Rs 30 crore handed over by the BMC to LHMS, Rs 22 crore was allegedly diverted into shell companies and various other firms’ accounts for personal use.
As per the records of LHMS, it was formed by Sujit Patkar in 2020 and bagged the contract for managing the field centre within a month, despite not having any experience.