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Spat with minister ends with suspend

Bokaro, July 4: The Jharkhand government today is said to have suspended civil surgeon of Bokaro Dr Prabhu Nath Pandey.

Pandey had recently been transferred from Bokaro to report to the headquarters in Ranchi on administrative ground, a decision which he had challenged at the Jharkhand High Court in the state capital and the court stayed the transfer.

The civil surgeon openly accused health minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi of transferring him, allegedly in revenge for refusing to pay Rs 5 lakh to the minister through one G. Thakur, a Bokaro Steel employee.

Hearing the doctor’s plea, Justice Narendra Nath Tewary of the high court allowed a stay in the case for three weeks, to take it up again on July 19. The judgment was pronounced on June 29 and public prosecutors were given three weeks to file counter affidavit.

Highly placed sources in the health department said the suspension order was issued today, because “Dr Pandey revealed a few things which could turn embarrassing for the government”.

Talking to The Telegraph on the phone, Pandey accepted that he too was informed by the Ranchi office about the suspension though no show cause or explanation has been sought from him and neither any financial irregularity has been reported.

“I have been victimised as I neither paid Rs 5 lakh to the minister as demanded nor did I bow to the pressure of minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi.”

“Moreover, I challenged the transfer in court. As stay was granted till July 19, this suspension will have far reaching consequences,” he added.

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