Kochi: The High Court on Thursday observed that disaster should not be a cover for corruption. The court's observation came while hearing a plea against the Lokayukta's intervention in the alleged corruption in the procurement of PPE kits and medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lokayukta had initiated an inquiry into the allegation that former Health Minister KK Shailaja was complicit in the corruption involved in the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits.
Initially, notices were sent to former health secretary Dr Rajan N Khobragade, former MD of Medical Services Corporation Balamurali, former general manager of Medical Services Corporation SR Dilipkumar and seven others. Then in October, it served a notice on the former minister to appear before it on December 8 in person or through a counsel.
Lokayukta initiated an inquiry after a complaint lodged by Congress leader Veena S Nair.
Kobragade had approached the court demanding the annulment of the Lokayukta proceedings.
The court said that Lokayukta has jurisdiction to consider the complaint alleging corruption and irregularities. The court also asked why the respondents were afraid of the investigation.