The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday started a preliminary probe into the medical bills claimed by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.
The probe was effected after complaints were registered against the Minister by senior BJP leader K Surendran and KM Shajahan, who is a former secretary to CPI (M) veteran VS Achuthanandan.
Shajahan alleged that the Minister and a few medical professionals were engaged in a criminal conspiracy to fabricate documents to cheat the public exchequer of Rs 3,90,250.
This was a blatant violation of The Members of Kerala Legislative Assembly (Medical Facilities) Rules, 1994 with regard to claiming reimbursement of cost of treatment/medical attendance by members, the complaint added.
The issue has caused embarrassment not just for the Minister but for the CPI (M) party after the media took it up and it went viral across the social media as well.
The state BJP general secretary K Surendran alleged that Shylaja had claimed medical bills using fake documents, wrongly claiming her husband – a retired government servant – as her dependent.
It demanded her resignation over the issue.
“If KK Shylaja has any respect for public life she should resign on her own. If not, the Chief Minister should sack her from the Cabinet,” Kummanam said.
Shailaja on her part has gone on record and said that she has done no wrong. She has said that she only "claimed that which she is eligible for".
The preliminary probe will look into whether rules were breached.
If probe results go against the Minister, it could lead to more embarrassment for the ruling party in the assembly session that begins on January 22.
The minister had stirred another controversy recently after she reportedly purchased a pair of spectacles for Rs 28,000 and then got it reimbursed from the government exchequer.
While stating that the bill had been submitted through proper channels, she declared that she was willing to apologise if any wrongdoing was found on her part.
(With IANS inputs)