On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court ordered the State government to stop paying installments for the Safe Kerala Project, which oversaw installation of artificial intelligence (AI) cameras throughout the State in an effort to lower traffic accidents. The State was instructed by a division bench consisting of Chief Justice SV Bhatti and Justice Basant Balaji not to make any additional payments until further directions are issued by the Court.
The request for a court-monitored investigation into the Safe Kerala Project was made in a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Ramesh Chennithala, a fellow Congress leader and member of the Legislative Assembly, and VD Satheesan, a Congress member and the opposition leader in the Kerala assembly.
Senior Advocate George Poonthottam, speaking on behalf of the petitioners during the hearing, informed the Court that the petitioners are only against the alleged corruption in the State government’s decision-making process and not the project as a whole.
The PIL petition claimed that nepotism, favoritism, and corruption, including violation of privacy, arose from the awarding of tenders for the installation of AI cameras. It was argued that the State government had violated both the right to privacy and the terms of the Motor Vehicle Act by entrusting private companies with public information.
Additionally, it was alleged that the project had been corrupted in a pyramidal fashion from the very beginning when a State government company by the name of KELTRON was given the job despite the finance department’s strong concerns about their ability to carry it out.