The newly formed BJP government in Himachal Pradesh has shown its teeth to the people who are indulged in corrupt practices by catching a ?lion?. He was a terror for many and with the connivance of politicians and bureaucrats, played with the life of public to mint money. It was his umbrella under which manufacturing of fake and substandard drugs was flourishing. For years, everybody in the government knew his modus operandi, but no one had courage to grab him. But Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal'spolicy of ?zero tolerance with corruption? has sent the ?lion? behind bars. Now there is a strong possibility that a big racket of fake drugs manufacturing would be unearthed.
Yes, Sher Singh, State Drug Controller, was virtually a lion. When he was captured by a joint team of Anti-Corruption Bureau and Vigilance Bureau, he was on a big hunt in the industrial belt of Nalagarh in Solan District. He collected about Rs. 5 lakh in only one and half hour from pharmaceutical industries. After falling in the trap of anti-corruption agencies, he very humbly offered Rs. 10 lakh to their officers to let him off. When his houses in Shimla and Solan were raided, apart from a huge amount of cash (Rs. 15 lakh) and gold, many important documents were also recovered. His property'sworth is said to be more than Rs. 5 crore and his salary is merely rupees twenty thousand per month.
Prof. Dhumal has termed the incident as ?beginning? and said the message of his government is very clear that corruption cannot be tolerated. ?It is the biggest case of bribe ever surfaced in the history of this hill state?, he added. He said: ?It was a promise in BJP'smanifesto to provide a corruption-free government and now it has become the policy document. From the day one, we are making sincere efforts to implement it.?
Sources said Sher Singh was receiving a big amount of foreign money and some proof to this effect have also been recovered. He and his family members have many plots and houses in Punjab and Himachal.
It is pertinent to mention that there were complaints that some pharmaceutical industries in the state were indulged in manufacturing of fake and substandard drugs. In 2006, Karnataka government had seized a huge stock of fake and substandard medicines. It was found that some of those medicines were manufactured in Solan District of Himachal Pradesh. As Sher Singh was the drug licensing authority of the state for many years, it is said that without his connivance no industry could take risk to indulge in the racket.
Sources disclosed that vigilance department had received many complaints against the erring officer and since 2003 he was under the scanner. But due to his ?closeness? with some leaders of the ruling Congress at that time, no action could be taken against him. Now it is expected that many white collared persons, including politicians and bureaucrats, would be exposed.
Shri I.D. Bhandari, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) and the main brain behind the catch, told Organiser, ?The matter is being investigated thoroughly and in due course of time, the investigating agencies would be able to expose the nexus between the drug licensing authority, some drug manufacturing units and others. The direction of the government in this connection is very clear.?