Tuesday, 26 October, 2021

Regent Hospital Scam

Ex-DG Azad, 5 others in ACC charge sheet

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 21 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Ex-DG Azad, 5 others in ACC charge sheet

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday approved a charge sheet against six people, including former Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Kalam Azad, in a case filed over the much-talked about Regent Hospital scam.

The case was filed over embezzlement of huge money in the name conducting Covid-19 test and treatment at Regent Hospital. The hospital signed an agreement with the DGHS on corona treatment though its licence expired long ago.

Initially, five people, including Regent Hospital chairman Shahed Karim, were made accused in the case. Now the name of former health DG Dr Abul Kalam Azad has been included in the case as the ACC found his involvement in the scam during investigation.

The four other accused are former director (Hospitals and Clinics) Dr Aminul Hasan, Deputy Director (Hospital-1) Dr Md Younus Ali, Assistant Director (Hospital-1) Dr Md Shafiur Rahman and Research Officer Dr Md Didarul Islam.

The anti-graft body approved the charge sheet at its regular meeting held at the commission’s Segunbagicha headquarters in the capital, said ACC Public Relations Officer M Arif Sadiq .

He also said the charge sheet will be submitted before the court soon.

The ACC on September 22 last year filed the case with its integrated district officer-1 in Dhaka following approval from the three-member probe team of the anti-graft body.

But former DGHS DG Dr Abul Kalam Azad, who resigned on July 22 last year in the face of a torrent of criticism from all corners over the scam, was not included in the case.

According to the case, the accused converted Regent Hospital into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital without renewing its licence for personal benefits. The hospital was converted into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital through signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the DGHS and as per the deal it got permission to test samples at a government lab.

The Regent Hospital authorities embezzled Tk 1.37 crore by realizing test fees from patients, said the case statement

There is also allegation that the accused also attempted to realise monthly Tk 1.96 crore illegally as food allowance for doctors, nurses and other officials of the Regent Hospital.  

On July 15 last year, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) detained Shahed from the border area in Satkhira on various fraudulence charges during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shahed had been on the run since a case was filed against him and some others for issuing fake Covid-19 test reports at Regent Hospital.

On July 7, RAB sealed off Regent Hospital's head office in the capital, and two of the hospital’s branches in Uttara and Mirpur on charges of issuing fake Covid-19 certificates and for other misdeeds.

RAB officials said Regent Hospital collected samples from at least 10,000 people. Of them, only 4,200 got authentic Covid-19 test certificates and the rest were found fake.

Earlier, the ACC in August last year, interrogated former health DG Dr Azad over irregularities regarding the agreement signed between the Regent Hospital and the DGHS.

After interrogation, he told reporters: “I worked as a hardworking, obedient, honest and intelligent person.”  Dr Azad also said he will help the commission in its probe as he want punishment of the people responsible for any irregularities.