Kumbh fake Covid testing case: SIT to get non-bailable warrants against accused

Dehradun, August 09 (KMS): The Special Investigation Team (SIT) is planning to procure non-bailable warrant (NBWs) against Sharat and Mallika Pant, two partners in Max Corporate Services and partner in Nalwa labs, the firm and the lab which has been accused of conducting fake Covid-19 tests during Mahakumbh 2021.

“At present, they both are underground and their phones are also switched off. We are planning to request issuance of non-bailable warrants from the court, said an official from the SIT.

Meanwhile, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has expanded the scope of its ongoing investigation in the matter to all 22 pathological laboratories in the hill state which have been conducting Covid-19 tests in the hill state.

Earlier on Friday, the ED conducted raids in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in connection with the case.

The statement by the agency mentioning that it has seized Rs 30.9 lakh, property documents, laptops, mobile phones, bogus bill and ‘incriminating documents’ added that the labs used single mobile number or a false mobile number, single address for multiple persons for inflating the numbers of Covid-19 test reports without actually testing any samples.

The agency has already registered a criminal case under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the accused companies and their directors.

Last month, the SIT added Section 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will, etc) in the already registered FIR against a firm and two pathology laboratories- Nalwa Laboratories Private Limited and Dr. Lal Chandani Labs Limited accused of irregularities in Covid 19 testing in Kumbh in Haridwar.

Case was registered last month under sections of Epidemic Act, 1897, Disaster Management Act, 2005, IPC 420 (forgery), 468(forgery), 471(fraudulently using as genuine any document or electronic record), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 188 (punishment for disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant),  269 and 270 (likely to spread infection).

The partners in the two pathology labs have got stay from the Uttarakhand High Court on their arrests with a condition to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.

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