Kerala HC allows govt to make payment to Keltron for AI camera project

Photo: Facebook/ @Keltron

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday allowed the state government to make the first installment of payment to the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd (Keltron) for implementing the 'Safe Kerala' project involving the installation of AI-enabled cameras for traffic surveillance.

The high court had in June barred the government from making any payment to the state-owned company in connection with the project after the opposition Congress party filed a petition alleging massive corruption in the project.

The court on Monday revoked the order after the government informed it that the AI cameras have started functioning and it was time to make the first installment of payment.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice A J Desai and Justice V G Arun considered the case.

The order comes as a relief for the Left government which has been facing allegations of corruption and nepotism in connection with the project.

Opposition leader VD Satheeshan and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala had moved the court seeking a court-monitored inquiry into the project alleging illegalities and corruption behind the project.

The Congress leaders allege that KELTRON was just "one of the middlemen in the whole transaction which was a scam in the name of traffic safety".

The plea also stated SRIT, which emerged as the successful bidder for the Project, did not satisfy any of the minimum eligibility conditions. The petitioners also alleged that corruption was involved while awarding subsequent tenders and sub-leasing the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

While considering the plea in June, the court had said that it wanted to examine all the deals made by the state government for the implementation of the project.

Automated Traffic Enforcement System for Safe Kerala Project was envisioned by the Transport Department to install AI cameras across the state for capturing traffic violations and issuing notice to the violators.

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