KARNATAKA

Government to order fresh probe into hospital affairs

Staff Reporter

Bangalore: Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and Minister for Medical Education V.S. Acharya on Monday said the Government would order a fresh inquiry into alleged irregularities, including the misuse of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund by five employees at Minto Eye Hospital in Bangalore.

There was no question of protecting any Minister who had written to the Government seeking to stall the inquiry as alleged by some members, they asserted. The alleged role of the Minister would also be brought within the purview of the inquiry if the members who made the allegation provided supporting documents, they said.

Replying to a question from S.M. Anand in the Legislative Council, Dr. Acharya said the Government had received a complaint against five employees of the hospital who had allegedly committed irregularities and misused the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund in February 2006. When the vigilance authorities conducted an inquiry, it was found that the complainant was “non-existent” and he had provided a false address. Besides, there were no documents to substantiate the allegations. Although the vigilance authorities had filed a first information report, the inquiry did not make much progress because of lack of evidence.

Contesting the Government’s stand, V.S. Ugrappa (Congress) said he had documentary evidence to show that the inquiry had been stalled at the behest of a senior Minister. “The Minister in question is none other than the Minister for Higher Education,” Mr. Ugrappa said.

Dr. Acharya retorted that he had not received any such letter from any Minister. He was not aware whether the Government had received such a letter well before he became a Minister. But the Government would not hesitate to institute an inquiry into the allegations, he said.

Insisting that Dr. Acharya give a concrete reply, Leader of the Opposition H.K. Patil and Basavaraj Bommai (JD-U) demanded a thorough inquiry into the allegations.

Mr. Yediyurappa intervened to assure the Opposition that a fresh inquiry would be held.

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