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RIMS director ‘sacked’ for graft

- Sekharjit stays put as new boss joins

Imphal, Aug. 27: The director of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), L. Sekharjit, has been replaced by head of the orthopaedics department, Chongtham Arun Kumar.

The deputy secretary of the ministry of health and social welfare (Northeast section), Ishwar Singh, issued an order to this effect on August 25 (vide order no.U.12025/12/2014-NEÂ dated 25.8.2014). The order said Sekharjit, who is facing a CBI investigation, has been relieved of his duty as director with immediate effect and Kumar will take charge as director.

The CBI has lodged a case against Sekharjit on charges of corruption regarding irregularities in the supply of dental chairs and other misappropriations.

Sekharjit took charge as RIMS director on September 14, 2010, and his tenure is supposed to expire on September 13, 2015. He has refused to leave his position saying the ministry’s order was dubious.

Kumar took charge of RIMS director on his own yesterday at 1pm. According to the order issued by the ministry of health and social welfare, he would look after the duties of a director.

“When I reached office, he refused to hand over his post on the ground that the ministry’s decision does not have the President’s approval. Subsequently I took charge on my own following the order,” Kumar said.

Seeking justice over the way of administering the institute by Sekharjit, RIMS Teachers’ and Medical Officers’ Association forwarded 12 allegations to the Union health ministry.

The allegations include a case pertaining to the purchase of 38 dental chairs against the recommendation for purchasing 34 dental chairs. The dental chairs were purchased for Rs 3.75 lakh each while the actual cost was just Rs 1.5 lakh per piece.

A total of 115 staff nurses were appointed without approval of the health ministry against due advertisement published for recruitment of 71 staff nurses in 2012.

Sekharjit’s wife, Damayenti, who was chairperson of hostel development committee, had sanctioned Rs 12 lakh for development of gardens in hostels but no garden was set up.

Again, the appointment order of RIMS medical superintendent issued by the health ministry was kept in abeyance for several months.

On the pretext that medical officers who were 62-year-old could not hold administrative posts, many heads of departments who were 62 were demoted and junior officers appointed in their posts. It has deeply hurt many senior medical officers and some of them even took voluntary retirement.

RIMS is almost on a par with the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in terms of infrastructure and specialisation. It has 700 beds. It also has a dental college and a nursing college attached to it. Besides MBBS, post-graduate courses are open to medical students from the northeastern region.

Kumar said this morning that he would work to improve the hospital’s infrastructure apart from creating a patient-friendly ambience.