Lucknow, Jul 12: A judicial probe into the mysterious death of Deputy Chief Medical Officer Y S Sachan in jail here has found it to be prima facie a case of murder, in a rebuff to the Uttar Pradesh government which had claimed it to be a suicide.
Opposing a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the case, the Mayawati government, which had come under attack after the death of Sachan, said it was ready for a probe by a Special Investigation team after the report by Chief Judicial Magistrate Rajesh Upadhyaya was opened before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court.
Appearing for the state government, Additional
Advocate General Jaideep Mathur said the government was of the view that as the CBI functions under the Centre, in such a situation it can not be termed as an independent agency. He said the state government is in favour of an inquiry by an independent agency like Special Investigation Team (SIT). He requested the court that if it deems fit, it should order an SIT probe.
The AAG said the government has suspended all investigations in Sachan's death till an order is issued by the court in the case.
The bench comprising justices Pradeep Kant and Ritu Raj Awasthi reserved its order for July 14, court sources said.
Arrested on charges of financial irregularities, Sachan, 52, was found dead inside the toilet of Lucknow district jail hospital on the night of June 22. He was also named as the key conspirator in the murder case of CMO B P Singh in April following the arrest of three shooters hired to kill him.
After Sachan's death, the government and police had initially claimed that he committed suicide. The post mortem, however, revealed nine injury marks on the body including the neck, elbows, wrists and thigh.
While Sachan's family cried foul and demanded a CBI inquiry, the state government ordered a judicial probe into the incident.
The CJM submitted the report with the acting district judge, district magistrate Lucknow and prison officials yesterday.
Meanwhile, former Chief Medical Officer of Lucknow A K Shukla, who along with Sachan was named in connection with the financial irregularities in the state health department, was today arrested from a hospital here.
Special Additional CJM Inthikab Alam, who remanded Shukla to judicial custody till July 26, directed that he be kept under camera surveillance in jail after Shukla claimed that there was a threat to his life.
“Doctor Shukla was arrested from the trauma centre of Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar Medical University this morning,” Deputy Inspector General of Police Lucknow D K Thakur said, adding that he has been charged in connection with financial irregularities in National Rural Health Mission.
Shukla was admitted to the trauma centre last night for health problems including diabetes, sources said. Citing health complications, Shukla sought permission for treatment outside the jail, but the court said facilities would be provided by the jailor as per the jail manual. It was alleged that the CMO misused his powers and helped his associates in withdrawing government funds by producing fake bills.
The financial irregularities were detected during investigation into the murder of CMO B P Singh, who was shot dead in Gomti Nagar area on April 2.
Sachan, administration officer C S Yadav and senior clerk PC Verma had been arrested immediately after the allegations surfaced.
Two state ministers Babu Singh Khushwaha and Anant Kumar Mishra had resigned on moral grounds due to the ongoing controversy.
Meanwhile, IG, Jails today submitted his reply before the State Human Rights Commission in connection with the notices served to him in Sachan death case last month. The official said that IG, Jails, V KGupta submitted his reply saying that though investigations in the case was pending, prima facie it is a case of suicide, sources in the commission said.
The other officials who were also served notices have yet to submit their replies. The commission would be hearing the case on July 14.
On June 24 last, the State Human Rights Commission had taken suo moto cognizance of Sachan's death in jail and had issued notices to five senior government officials asking them to submit a reply by July 12. PTI