BENGALURU: Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty has set a six-month deadline for submission of a report by a committee to look into the alleged irregularities committed by Dr M Vijaykumar, the then Director of Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology (KMIO) and others.The committee was constituted by the state government to probe Vijaykumar’s alleged role in possible inconsistencies in relation to appointment and execution of civil works at the institute.
Justice Shetty issued this direction while dismissing the complaint of ‘favouritism and dereliction of duty’ against Medical Education Minister Dr Sharan Prakash Patil filed by Dr Vinay Kumar of the institute. However, the Lokayukta asked the minister to examine the matter and give necessary instructions to the committee which has not submitted the report even nearly after two years.
“If no report has yet been submitted, it is open to the committee to take a final decision at the earliest. However, if no such decision is taken within six months from the date of this order, the complainant may file a fresh complaint against the committee for dereliction of duty,” Justice Shetty said.
The complainant alleged that Dr Vijay Kumar was allowed to take voluntary retirement despite proceedings pending against him.
“As the voluntary retirement was taken much earlier to the inquiry, after the proceedings pending before the Upa Lokayukta were dropped, one cannot find fault in allowing Dr Vijaykumar to take voluntary retirement. The minister’s action cannot be considered as amounting to favouritism or dereliction of duty,” the Lokayukta said in the order passed recently.
The Lokayukta added: “Since KIMO is one of the premier institutes in the country and in the light of several grievances made against Dr Vijaykumar, it is in public interest to permit him to voluntarily retire.”
‘Can’t stall appointments’
The Lokayukta also rejected another complaint filed by Dr Vinay Kumar seeking directions to stop further recruitment in the cancer institute till the completion of the inquiry. “As the institute was established to treat cancer patients, the regular recruitment of doctors and other staff are required to be made without loss of time. Therefore, the complaint is liable to be rejected. However, it is made clear that if anyone is aggrieved by the appointment made, it is open to them to challenge it,” Justice Shetty said.