Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Top Cong leaders seek court monitored probe into Kerala govt AI camera scam

As promised by Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan, along with his predecessor and Congress legislator Ramesh Chennithala, the duo on Monday moved the Kerala High Court seeking a court-monitored enquiry into the Safe Kerala Project which involved the installation of Artificial Intelligence cameras across the state to reduce road accidents.

The duo for the past several weeks have been going hammer and tongs at the manner in which this project was commissioned. They had alleged that it was a corrupt deal to the tune of Rs 100 crores and had come up with numerous documents to show what they claimed was not a transparent deal.

In their petition they alleged that the award of tenders for the installation of AI cameras resulted in “nepotism, favouritism and corruption including violation of privacy.

“The confidential and private data of individuals including their driving license and other information from Vahan are left to the mercy of private operators who only eye their profit margin. When the only authority to impose fines on the violators of traffic rules is the concerned officer in the Motor Vehicle Department, holding the rank of MVI or AMVI, as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act and Rules, the said duty is now cast on the hands of private companies which will access private data of citizens, impose fines and also provide payment facility,” read their petition.

The petition also claimed that the project involved a pyramid style of corruption right from the start when the work order was issued to a state government company called KELTRON even though the finance department had raised serious objections regarding its capability to execute the project.

It alleged that even while awarding subsequent tenders and sub-leasing the SLA (service-level agreement), to SRIT India Pvt. Ltd and Presadio Technologies Pvt. Ltd., there was a lot of corruption.

Therefore, they demanded a court monitored probe.

“Unfortunately, the investigating agency of the state is under the command and control of persons who are the beneficiaries of the transaction. Since the corruption is conducted at the top echelons of power, the state police is completely helpless in the matter. The Central agencies which would have been a natural choice have demonstrated that they will not take any investigation in a route that will harm the current state government,” the plea stated.

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