Kumbh Mela 'fake' Covid testing: Uttarakhand police forms SIT; accused firm approaches HC

Express News Service
DEHRADUN: Haridwar district police on Friday formed special investigation team (SIT) to probe the fake Kumbh Covid testing case.

Senior superintendent of police Senthil Avoodai Krishna Raj S, Haridwar district, told The New Indian Express, that “The SIT has been formed to investigate the matter efficiently. Such complex cases need more attention and resources hence the decision.”

Meanwhile, Max Corporate Services, the firm against which FIR has been lodged in Kumbh fake testing case, approached the Uttarakhand High Court challenging the legality of the FIR on Friday.

Dr. Kartikey Hari Gupta, counsel for the firm told The New Indian Express, “We have pleaded before the Hon’ble Court that our client entered into contract with nationally accredited laboratories for conducting Rapid-Antigen testing during the Kumbh. Both Laboratories namely Nalwa Laboratories Private Limited and Dr. Lal Chandani Labs Limited both are Indian Council of Medical Research accredited labs and Max Corporate Services is merely a service provider.”

ALSO READ | Kumbh Mela ‘fake’ Covid testing: FIR registered against one firm, two path labs

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.

Case has been registered under sections of Epidemic Act, 1897, Disaster Management Act, 2005, IPC 420 (forgery), 468(forgery), 471(fraudulently using as genuine any document or electronic record), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 188 (punishment for disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant), 269 and 270 (likely to spread infection).

The FIR among other things mentions that between April 13 to May 16, the positivity rate of the samples tested by the lab empanelled by the firm stood 0.18 per cent which rose suspicions as it was way below 5.3 per cent PR, which was considered normal for Haridwar in the said duration.

“If any fake testing has been done, Max Corporate Services has no role to play and infact is willing to unearth if any such thing has happened. As per the Government work Order, we facilitated the testing through these two labs. All the sample collection and other data entries were done well with the knowledge and supervision of the government authorities. We have requested the Hon’ble Court to protect the petitioner from any coercive measures of police and in whatever manner government wants to investigate, our client is ready and willing to cooperate,” added Dr Gupta.