Implicated in the Biocon bribery case, the central government has revoked the suspension orders of S Eswara Reddy, the top officer at the drug regulatory body of India, News18 has learnt.
The health ministry has decided that the extension of suspension and sanction for prosecution sought by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the officer should be “delinked” and Reddy can be posted in a “non-sensitive” position.
Suspended in July, the joint drug controller was arrested on June 21 after the CBI caught him with a middleman while allegedly receiving Rs 4 lakh of the total promised bribe of Rs 9 lakh for waiving clinical trials of Biocon Biologics’ Insulin Aspart, an injection which is at the centre of the controversy.
The Delhi high court in September granted bail to Reddy saying the bail has been granted on the basis of no “flight risks" and although the offence alleged is grave, the trial in the matter would take ample time.
The order document accessed by News18 stated: “To prevent tampering of the witness (as per CBI report) in the case, the drug controller general may be requested to post Shri Eswara Reddy to a non-sensitive position and it should be ensured that he is posted in a division different from the witness."
The health ministry had formed a review panel, earlier reported by News18, to discuss the case. The order said that it was deliberated that the investigation in the case has already been completed and revocation of suspension of Reddy will not result in the tampering of documents.
In October, Reddy had asked the health ministry to “render justice” to him and revoke his suspension orders.
In his letter, he informed the ministry of health and family welfare that he was implicated in a “totally false case so as to deprive my promotion, tarnishing my image and damaging my reputation as an honest and sincere officer”.
DELINK SUSPENSION & CBI PROSECUTION: ORDER
The latest order noted that the review committee recommended the suspension of Reddy may not be extended beyond December 26.
“…the case was reviewed by the review committee and after due deliberations and discussions, the committee observed that extension of suspension and sanction for prosecution sought by the CBI against the officer may be delinked,” the order stated.
Now, therefore, the order said, “The suspension of Sh. Eswara Reddy, Joint Drug Controller (I), CDSCO, New Delhi is hereby revoked and not extended beyond 26.12.2022.”
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