PPE kits scam: Close aide of ex-Himachal BJP chief held

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The Himachal Pradesh Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau on Saturday arrested Prithvi Singh, who had recorded the former Director of Health Services asking for a bribe to supply PPE kits.

Singh had made a 43-second audio clip in which the former Director of Health Services, Dr Ajay Gupta, could be heard asking for a bribe of Rs 5 lakh for suppling 6,500 PPE kits worth over Rs one crore. Singh is a close associate of former BJP chief Dr Rajiv Bindal and the audio clip has gone viral since its release.

According to sources, there were more recordings and Prithvi Singh had deliberately recorded the conversation to pressurise the DHS to give more orders.

He was summoned for interrogation by the Vigilance Bureau and later arrested on Saturday night.

After the release of the audio clip, Additional Chief Secretary R D Dhiman had referred the matter to the Vigilance Bureau and Gupta was called for questioning and arrested on May 20.

The Vigilance Bureau had ceased the mobile phones of Ajay Gupta and Prithvi Singh and voice samples of both the accused were taken to a state forensic science laboratory in Junga.

After the name of Prithvi Singh cropped up during the enquiry and Gupta was remanded to police custody, Bindal resigned from the post of state BJP president and his resignation was accepted on the same day.

Source : The Tribune