Kumbh fake Covid testing: Investigation report to be submitted soon to Uttarakhand govt officials

By Express News Service
DEHRADUN: District administrator of Haridwar is likely to submit a report on the alleged fake Covid-19 testing scam that took place during the Haridwar Kumbh Mela.

The report once finalised will be forwarded to senior authorities in the Uttarakhand government for further action. 

“The investigation is on and the report will be submitted to the DM this week only. The probe involves too many factors enmasse which is why it took over a month,” said an official involved in the probe.

An inquiry was ordered on June 10 by the Haridwar district administration. The DM had directed to complete the inquiry within 15 days but extension was granted after request made by the officials probing the the scam. 

Till date around 65,000 phone numbers, registered in the testing camp, have been cross-checked. While close to 25,000 are yet to be verified.

Officials said that there is no short cut for this as they have to go through each and every number individually by calling and verifying the details.

Earlier this month, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) had added Section 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will, etc) in the already registered FIR against a firm and two pathology laboratories accused of irregularities in Covid-19 testing in Kumbh.

Cases were registered last month under sections of Epidemic Act, 1897, Disaster Management Act, 2005, IPC 420 (forgery), 468(forgery), 471(fraudulently using as genuine any document or electronic record), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 188 (punishment for disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant),  269 and 270 (likely to spread infection).

Meanwhile, the role of Chief Medical Officer of Haridwar has come under scanner in the ongoing SIT probe.

The CMO of Haridwar Dr SK Jha, now posted as CMO of Rudraprayag district, was tasked with providing free first-aid services at Kedarnath last year.

The same lab was also conducting Covid-19 tests in Haridwar during Kumbh. This angle is also being probed by the SIT officials.