After row over purchase irregularities, now files from Kerala health dept headquarters are missing

TG Babykutty

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Thiruvananthapuram: After row over irregularities in the purchase of medicine and medical equipment through Kerala Medical Services Corporation (KMSCL), now crucial files including those related with purchase of medicines have gone missing from the headquarters of the health department. The matter came to light when section clerks themselves informed it to the higher authorities.

Though employees extensively searched for days, none of the missing files were found. Based on the complaint raised by the director of health services, the police have initiated probe into the matter. Police have also instructed the director of health services to make the places from where these files have gone missing. The exact number of missing files have not been ascertained, but according to the authorities concerned, it is above 500.

Notably, when row over purchase irregularities was in limelight, there were allegations that digital files in KMSCL and that of medicine related contracts were destroyed. The vigilance department which is investigating about the missing files in health department headquarters is also looking into this angle. If the officials find any link, then the chance of a racket working in KMSCL and health department headquarters cannot be ruled out, suggested information from police sources.

The files missing from the headquarters include indent readied and observations in the audit with respect to the purchase of medicines and medical equipment for government hospitals. The files were stored in shelves and cupboards. Police is of the opinion that files cannot be shifted without the knowledge of officials in the directorate. Likewise, as per the information given by clerks to police though cupboards having important files were shifted during renovation activities, at that time no files were missing.

It is KMSCL which procures medicine and medical equipment for government hospitals annually. However, considering the pandemic purchase rules including that of tenders were avoided and procurement was made. Reports suggests that procurement was made at high rates.

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