Mumbai: The recording of statements in the alleged jumbo Covid-19 scam centres has been revealed that BMC officials signed incomplete, fabricated and multiple duplicate invoices on verbal instructions of then additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani.
According to the chargesheet in the case, one such statement was given by Versha Prasad Desai, the account officer of BMC’s Dahisar Covid centre. Desai said that her role involved scrutinising all the raised bills and invoices and she discovered that many invoices were fabricated and contained irregularities. These invoices were raised by the contractor, Lifeline Hospital Management Services.
Desai said she promptly reported these irregularities to the centre’s dean Kishor Bisure (an arrested accused), deputy municipal commissioner Vishwas Shankarwar, and additional commissioner (western suburbs) Suresh Kakani.
Following her complaint, Kakani called a meeting to address the non-payment of bills during which Lifeline’s representatives were also present. Kakani verbally instructed Desai to clear the invoices raised by Lifeline. He also instructed Arvind Singh (an accused) to provide all relevant lists of documents related to doctors, staff and nurses for record-keeping. Following the instructions, Desai cleared three invoices from Lifeline but the required documents were not submitted.
Subsequently, on October 7, 2020, the invoices were raised again. When Desai complained, Kakani told her to clear the invoices the same day. On that very day, the contractor raised three more invoices. Dahisar centre’s then account officer Sanjay Juvale provided a similar account. As per his statement, he cleared all invoices, except six raised by Lifeline.
Desai later cleared these remaining invoices following instructions from her seniors. Juvale mentioned that when he joined, there were clear instructions from Dr Bisure that there was alleged pressure from Shankarwar and Kakani to immediately clear the invoices.
Dr Dharmesh Balsarkar, the dean of NSCI Covid jumbo centre, has also given a statement that he cleared incomplete and fabricated invoices raised by Lifeline upon verbal instructions of Kakani.