Bengaluru: A Shivamogga-based advocate has filed an application seeking Governor’s sanction for prosecution against Housing Minister M H Ambareesh for using taxpayers’ money to reimburse his medical and travel expenses during his recent treatment in Singapore.
The applicant, Vinod B, claimed that the State government had paid up to Rs 1.16 crore towards the medical expenditure of the minister in violation of the Karnataka Ministers’ Medical Attendance Rules.
Vinod said the application was sent by post under section 19 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in his order dated Feb 28, 2014, the day Ambareesh was to be airlifted to Singapore for further medical treatment, stated the government was ready to foot the entire medical expenses of the minister, besides the airfare for his wife, three doctors and his personal secretary, the applicant stated.
“Exercising the powers under rule 10 of the Medical Attendance Rules, and relaxation of rule 7 considering it as a special case, the government, in its order dated July 11, 2014, gave an approval to reimbursement of Rs 1.16 crore. It also approved the reimbursement of medical bills of Rs 5.92 lakh of Vikram Hospital in another order dated July 17 2014,” the applicant stated.
The applicant claimed that as per the Medical Attendance Rules, ministers have to take medical treatment within the country if the required facilities are available. The maximum reimbursement in such cases is usually Rs 5 lakh and they may be allowed treatment abroad in special cases.
“If the beneficiary minister was incapable of footing his medical bills, the question would have been different. Here, the minister is a Kannada film actor , a former Union minister and a former MP. Moreover, the family conveyance and the conveyance of his personal physicians should not have to be considered for the reimbursement. It is a drain on the State treasury,” he stated.
The applicant has submitted that Ambareesh is liable for punishment for criminal misconduct.