AI-cam: Satheesan, Chennithala seek court-monitored probe

In their petition, the leaders said as per the minimum eligibility criteria in the project’s tender, the first condition was that the bidder shall be a single entity or consortium.
Representational image of AI camera. (photo | Nishad T, EPS)
Representational image of AI camera. (photo | Nishad T, EPS)

KOCHI: On Monday, Senior Congress leaders V D Satheesan and Ramesh Chennithala moved the Kerala High Court seeking a court-monitored probe into the Automated Traffic Enforcement System (ATES) for Safe Kerala project and its execution.

In a joint petition, Leader of Opposition Satheesan and his predecessor Chennithala also challenged the government’s orders, the action taken by implementing agency Keltron and the alleged illegalities in the installation of AI cameras, which they said resulted in nepotism, favouritism and corruption, including violation of privacy. They sought a stay on the implementation of ATES.

In their petition, the leaders said as per the minimum eligibility criteria in the project’s tender, the first condition was that the bidder shall be a single entity or consortium. In the case of a consortium, the maximum number of members, including the lead bidder, should be three.

The bidder/lead bidder should have been in continuous operation for at least 10 years. The other condition was that the bidder, lead bidder and consortium partners should be registered with GST authorities and possess a valid PAN. The fourth condition was that the lead bidder’s average annual financial turnover should be Rs 50 crore or more in the last three financial years.

They said the four firm that took part in the tender were Gujarat Infotech Ltd, Akshara Enterprises India Pvt Ltd, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd, and SRIT India Pvt Ltd. Of them, Akshara, Ashoka, and SRIT qualified in the technical and financial bid evaluation. However, they said SRIT was the candidate of the people controlling the government; the rest were just formal participants.

The petitioners said Akshara was an associate of SRIT for a project in Andhra Pradesh, while Ashoka’s eligibility for pre-qualification was its association with SRIT in K-FON project, which was yet another scam.

Hence, the companies that bid for the project were all proxies of SRIT and their only role was to give the appearance of a transparent tender process. The leaders’ petition said SRIT did not satisfy any minimum eligibility criteria, neither did it have any technical expertise in the field. 

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