Notice issued to Bengaluru activist after audio clip on BJP MLA goes viral

HM Venkatesh had released a purported audio clip of a conversation between him and the staff of a hospital, to highlight an alleged scam involving Basavanagudi MLA Ravi Subramanya.
Ravi Subramanya
Ravi Subramanya
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Less than two days after LA Ravi Subramanya, an MLA belonging to the ruling BJP in Karnataka, was accused in a 'vaccine selling' scam, the Bengaluru police on Monday issued a notice to social activist HM Venkatesh, who had released a purported audio clip of a telephonic conversation between him and the staff of city-based AV Hospital that brought the issue to light. Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Division), Harish Pandey, told reporters that Venkatesh was summoned by the Girinagar police after the AV Hospital lodged a complaint against him, adding that Venkatesh did not appear in person but responded through an email.

Subramanya had courted controversy on Saturday after the purported telephonic conversation between Venkatesh and the hospital staff went viral, in which the MLAs name figured more than once, allegedly asking for a commission of Rs 900 to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to people. Ravi Subramanya is the uncle of BJP MP from Bengaluru South, Tejasvi Surya. His Assembly constituency Basavanagudi is part of the Parliamentary constituency represented by Tejasvi Surya. Reacting to the controversy, Ravi Subramanya denied the allegations. “Certain miscreants have used my name in an allegation about COVID-19 vaccine charges through an audio recording,” he said.

In the purported audio clip, the hospital staff could be heard telling Venkatesh that the vaccine cost of Rs 900 has to be remitted to Subramanaya's office and only after that, inoculation will be done at the AV Hospital. In the purported conversation, the staff member claiming to be working at the AV hospital is asked why the vaccine costs so much. To this, the hospital staff curtly says that those who want free vaccines can go to the vaccine centres run by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

Pandey said that Venkatesh is yet to lodge his complaint with the police, but the AV Hospital has filed a complaint in the matter on the basis of which the police have served him the notice.The hospital also issued a statement saying that the vaccination drive in the hospital was not connected to the MLA

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