LG suspends Delhi Health Minister’s OSD for involvement in illegal registration of nursing homes

- May 29, 2024
| By : Saurav Gupta |

Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena has approved the suspension Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj’s OSD for being part of irregular and illegal registration of private health facilities

Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena

Days after the fire at Vivek Vihar’s Baby Care Hospital claimed the lives of seven infants in the national capital, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has approved the suspension of Dr R.N. Das, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, for his involvement in the “irregular and illegal registration of private nursing homes”. 

According to the order dated May 29, 2024, a disciplinary proceeding against Dr Das is also being contemplated.

“Now therefore, the Lt. Governor, Delhi, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (1) of Rule-10 of CCS (CCA) Rules, 1965, hereby, places Dr Das, Officer under suspension with immediate effect.

“It is further ordered that during the period that this order shall remain in force, the headquarters of Dr R.N. Das shall be Delhi and he should not leave the headquarters without obtaining the previous permission of the Competent Authority,” the order said.

Also read: Unregistered nursing homes endanger lives in Delhi

“It is also ordered that the said Dr Das during the period of his suspension would be entitled to a subsistence allowance at an amount equal to the leave salary which he would have drawn, had he been on leave on half average pay, subject to the furnishing of a certificate to the effect that he has not been employed in any business, profession or vocation for a profit/remuneration/salary,” the order added.

As per the LG House, the recent fire incident in Vivek Vihar further highlighted Dr Das’s negligence, as he had allowed the registration of the nursing home without ensuring compliance with statutory regulations.

“The incident points towards the fact that Dr R.N. Das, who is also OSD to the then Minister (Health) Satyendra Jain and present Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, has clearly abused his powers,” Raj Niwas said.

“Apart from this, the suspension follows allegations of misconduct, particularly related to the unauthorised operation of Jyoti Nursing Home in Shahdara beyond its valid registration period. A complaint revealed that “Jyoti Clinic & Nursing Home” continued to operate despite its registration being cancelled on November 27, 2018,” it said. 

“It was also alleged that the nursing home’s license renewal, applied for in 2014, was improperly delayed by officials, including Dr Das, allowing the facility to operate without proper authorisation. An inquiry by the Health & Family Welfare Department concluded that Dr Das was responsible for the renewal process and had colluded with the nursing home management,” it stated. 

“The Anti-Corruption Branch found prima facie evidence of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, necessitating a detailed investigation. Dr Das’s tenure in the Nursing Home Cell from 2011 to 2015 and 2018 to 2022 implicated him in these irregularities. Despite initial resistance from the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the clarifications provided by the Directorate of Vigilance led to the acceptance of the suspension by the Lt. Governor,” Raj Niwas added.