CMDRF fraud: Strict action to be taken soon

Representational image
Representational image.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau (VACB) is to recommend taking action against the doctor who issued about 1500 medical certificates for application to get aid from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF), soon.

It has been found that only less than 100 certificates were issued by Sukruth C Narayanan at Kollam, based on the medical treatment documents. The rest of the 1400 certificates were issued without enough supporting documents. There have been cases where the certificates were issued even without seeing the beneficiary.

Action would also be initiated against 2 Ayurveda doctors who have issued 67 certificates in Alathoor. Stern action would be initiated against the 8 doctors who are not specialists but have issued certificates for serious illnesses.

The Vigilance found that a nexus of agents, doctors and officers make fake certificates and carry out financial fraud with the help of the officers. It has also been found that a campaign was conducted to inform people that Ayurveda doctors at Alathoor would issue medical certificates. The VACB is to recommend to the Police to book the accused and investigate incidents involving the agents and officials in CMDRF aid distribution.

In Alappuzha district, the same doctor has been found to have issued certificates for 32 of the total 60 applications. All 60 applications are from September 2022. This doctor has certified applicants even for cancer and mental illnesses. While the norm is against issuing another certificate within 2 years, this doctor has given the medical certificate within 2-3 months.

Rs 3 lakh was granted to a Changanassery native man, who had been working abroad as an engineer for many years for his liver transplant surgery. Thrikkodithaanam native who runs a private company got Rs 3 lakh for his kidney transplant procedure. The dependents of a Changanassery native who died in a road accident have received Rs 1 lakh as aid. So far, 9 officers have been found to be guilty of the CMDRF fraud.

The Vigilance is to probe in detail how the phone number of an Akshaya Centre has reflected in as many as 268 applications from 2018 through 2022 in Pathanamthitta Koodal Village Office. The phone number provided in all the 61 applications at Enadhimangalam Village Office was of the Akshaya Centre management.

Though there is no provision to allow aid for varicose vein treatment, financial assistance has been provided in many such cases.

Kothamangalam Varappetty native and an NRI, Enanikkal Shibu Jose who owns a double-storied house and 19 cents of land, has also received Rs 3 lakh as distress aid from CMDRF. Shibu Jose’s name was included in Vigilance’s list on the same day he got the money.


High-level recommendations beyond the investigation ambit
Even as the fraudulence in the CMDRF aid distribution is brought to light, the high-level recommendations for the same are outside the purview of the investigation. The Ministers, including the Chief Minister, also get direct applications for financial assistance from the CMDRF.

Of these, the aid is decided upon the applications received by the CM and the Revenue Minister, and are given on the CMO portal usually. Generally, in such cases, detailed scrutiny of the documents is not carried out at the Village Officer level. Even the meticulous scrutiny to be done at Taluk and Collectorate levels is a namesake exercise in such cases.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.