Kumbh Mela 'fake' Covid testing: FIR registered against one firm, two path labs

Express News Service
DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand police on Thursday registered case against one firm and two pathology labs for allegedly forging over one lakh Covid-19 tests during Kumbh Mela in Haridwar district.

A case has been registered at Nagar Kotwali police station of the district against Max Corporate Service (MCS) and two private laboratories, Delhi-based Lal Chandani Lab and Hissar-based Nalwa lab, on the complaint of Haridwar district’s Chief Medical Officer.

Senior superintendent of police Senthil Avoodai Krishna Raj S said, “case has been registered under sections of epidemic act, IPC 420 (forgery), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 269 and 270 (likely to spread infection).”

Out of 90,000 negative reports by the lab, atleast 36,000 are said to be fake.

The lab tested around one lakh people out of which 10,000 reports by the lab were Covid-19 positive while 90,000 were certified as Covid negative.

ALSO READ | Haridwar’s positivity rate during Kumbh reported to be 80 per cent lesser than rest of Uttarakhand

District magistrate of Haridwar C Ravishankar said, “The case has been registered and inquiry in the matter is already underway. A special investigation team (SIT) will be formed for the investigation.”

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat said that the matter related to fake testing in Kumbh took place before he was sworn in as the Chief Minister.

“I was sworn in as Chief Minister in March and the fake testing matter is old. I was in Delhi when I came to know about this and had ordered inquiry immediately. Investigation is underway in the matter and strictest of actions will be taken against those who are responsible,” said the Tirath Singh Rawat.

Former Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat commenting on the issue said, “This is not only about financial irregularities but concern people’s lives. These are unprecedented times when we are battling with Covid pandemic and such wrong deeds cost lives. Those responsible for fake testing in Kumbh must be brought to justice.”

Opposition has already been demanding inquiry on higher levels including the investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation. 

State spokesperson of Indian National Congress Deepak Balutia said, “The government has failed to protect people and now this. This cannot happen without involvment of high officials and others in the government. We demand CBI inquiry of this scam.”