NOIDA: Copies of birth and death certificates ended up with a scrap dealer in the city after a ward boy at the chief medical officer’s office sold them off to satisfy his craving for liquor.
Sources said around 10,500 birth and 2,500 death certificates were recovered from the scrap dealer, who was traced to Morna. However, Deepak Ohri, the CMO, said the number of documents that the ward boy, Naresh, had sold off was 500.
Officials said the documents had been printed and brought to Ohri’s office around three weeks ago. Just two days later, the certificates were found to be missing. An internal inquiry was conducted and it was found that Naresh had sold off the documents to the scrap dealer in Morna and spent the “few hundred rupees” he had earned from it on liquor.
“The matter came to light some 20 days ago. We had got the certificates printed for the birth and death section. And when we needed them, we found they were missing. An internal inquiry found that a ward boy had sold the documents to a scrap dealer and had liquor with the money,” Ohri said.
Sources said the documents were copies of the originals that are given to applicants that the health department keeps for its records.
Apart from the birth and death certificates, some papers related to the tuberculosis department were also found with the scrap dealer. Ohri, however, said he did not have any such information. “They may be waste paper. It is not unusual to sell off waste paper as trash,” he said.
Azad Singh Tomar, the SHO of Sector 39 police station, said they had received information about the missing certificates from the CMO. “The documents were recovered from the scrap dealer and brought back. No complaint was lodged. The papers were found in a garbage dump. They had been sold off as trash. It is an internal matter of the CMO’s office,” he added.
Although sources said Naresh had been detained for three days, no police officer confirmed this.
Naresh, who has been off and on associated with the health department for the past five years, has been removed. “He was on daily wages and may have earned a few hundred from the sale of papers. He has been removed from service,” Ohri said.
A police officer, however, told TOI it was not unusual for junior employees to sell off government papers for easy money. “This is a dangerous trend. Government documents are often sold off by junior level employees without informing their seniors,” he added.