Former Orissa minister seeks damages from chief secretary

March 16th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, March 16 (IANS) Orissa’s former health minister Bijayshri Routray Sunday sent an ultimatum to the state chief secretary who recently accused Routray of taking bribe when he was in the office. The World Bank’s detailed implementation review (DIR) report about the $76.4 million Orissa Health System Development Project (OHSDP), launched in 1998 and completed in 2006, said a state health minister and some officials had taken Rs.500,000 in bribes to give undue favours to a particular firm.

Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy in the last week of January this year said it was Routray who was the health minister during that period. The World Bank named him as the person involved in the bribe scandal, Tripathy told reporters.

“The World Bank clearly said that its report could not be used for purposes of any investigation as it was not an investigative report,” Routray told IANS.

“It said the report was based on certain allegations and hearsay only,” he added.

“The state government is already conducting an inquiry into it and before its completion, the chief secretary dragged me into the scandal,” Routray said.

“It was a deliberate attempt to malign my public image,” he added.

“Routray had earlier served a notice to Tripathy, asking him to retract his statement and apologise Feb 16 but did not get response,” Routray’s lawyer Basudev Routray said.

“We have now sent a notice to Tripathy asking him to pay damage of Rs.10 million. If he failed to do that, we will file appropriate cases in the court of law,” he added.

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