Kidwai chief accused of swindling funds

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Bangalore: The Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology (KMIO) is back in the news for wrong reasons. This time, a complaint has been filed with the Lokayukta alleging that the Department of Health and Family Welfare was protecting KMIO Director Dr M Vijaykumar who was suspended for financial irregularities and subsequently reinstated.

The complaint was filed by S Lokraj, secretary of Kidwai Workers’ Association. The complainant alleged that an enquiry committee had submitted a report confirming Vijaykumar’s involvement in financial irregularities. The allegations were that Vijaykumar had misappropriated government funds during 2012-13. Though the State government suspended him based on the report, it withdrew the order and reinstated him due to political pressure, the complainant alleged.

“As per the enquiry report, Dr Vijaykumar was found guilty of misappropriation of funds. Accordingly, the State government, by its order dated February 2, 2014, issued directions to fill the post of the director on a permanent basis by initiating recruitment proceedings after issuing a notification in this regard as per the bylaws of the institution,” the complaint stated.

In the interest of the day-to-day administration of the institution, Krishnegowda Tayannavar was appointed the Executive Officer.

However, instead of appointing a full-time director, the department transferred the executive officer and took a decision to withdraw the earlier order (HFW 82 KVM 2012).
“Dr Vijaykumar had moved the court challenging his suspension. The State government submitted before the High Court stating that the order had been withdrawn. The writ petition was thus  disposed of,” the complainant stated.

“The complaint involves serious allegations of protecting an officer, who according to the enquiry report, was guilty of misconduct, administrative and financial irregularities. Now, constituting the same person as the director of the institution has led to further financial irregularities at the cost of the health and welfare of cancer patients. It is alleged that the continuation of Dr Vijaykumar and unilaterally dropping the proceedings against him has affected the interest of the institution,” Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi said.

Meanwhile, another complaint was filed with the Upa Lokayukta alleging misappropriation of funds of the Union government. The complainant, S Raghunathagowda, alleged that the amount released for purchasing medical instruments for the cancer hospital had not been properly accounted for.

Taking note of both the complaints, the Upa Lokayukta has issued a notice to the Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Sivasailam, and the Director of KMIO, to submit a report by January 19, 2015.

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