No irregularities found in employees' insurance policy 'scam', reveals RTI

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has revealed that no irregularities were found in J&K Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy “scam”, raising question why was the scheme scrapped by the administration led by then Governor Satya Pal Malik.

The ACB has provided the information after J&K High Court lawyer Muzaffar Ali Shah filed an application under Right to Information Act (RTI) seeking the outcome of the enquiry.

“An open verification was initiated on the basis of a communication received from the General Administration Department viz the J&K Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy. During the course of probe, no irregularity was found and consequently the same has been closed by the Bureau,” reads the reply to the RTI. “The report of the probe stands referred to Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department vide this office letter No.ACB-Veri-C-02/2018-15779 dated November 27, 2019.”

An official said from awarding the contract to the subsequent decisions, everything was transparent and foolproof and the whole process was overseen by senior officers.

“But all of a sudden there was an air created that it is a big scam,” said the official adding those employees who availed benefits of the policy for three months can vouch it was the best policy with affordable premiums.

Malik had scrapped the contract awarded to Reliance General Insurance Company (RGIC), stating that the deal was “full of frauds”.

He had talked about involvement of some top officials in pushing the deal through in a “hush-hush manner” and warned that those found to be involved would not be spared.

“These utterances raised question marks on the integrity of officers who were handling this insurance policy, though the ACB findings have brought truth to the fore. There is need to probe why was the policy scrapped despite being employee-friendly,” said another official.

Malik had also said “some bungling” had come to the fore in the award of the contract. “Employees wanted it to be cancelled. There was some bungling. I read the entire file and when I reached the conclusion that something is wrong, it did not take me a minute to cancel it,” he had said.

Interestingly the contract of the insurance scheme was approved by Malik-led State Administrative Council.

Approved at a premium of Rs 8,776 for employees and 22,228 for pensioners, the contract was allotted for a period of one year, to begin with.

While J&K has around 4.5 lakh employees, the number of pensioners varies from one lakh to 1.25 lakh.