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HomekarnatakaGovt dissolves special investigation team on BBMP works

Govt dissolves special investigation team on BBMP works

Bengaluru: In a sudden development, the government has dissolved the special investigation team (SIT) which was constituted last August to unearth the evidences of corruption during the BJP’s tenure by probing works taken up by BBMP.

The move comes just two weeks after one of the four teams submitted its interim report that found “prosecutable” evidence against the BBMP’s top brass. The remaining three teams hadn’t started investigation.

The order, issued by the urban development department on December 15, officially withdrew all powers entrusted to the four teams, headed by IAS officers and assisted by a battery of retired engineers.

One-man commission

The order, however, states that the one-man enquiry commission of retired High Court judge Justice H N Nagmohan Das will continue investigation.

While the IAS officers-led committee was tasked with the responsibility of probing the BBMP works of the last four years, the one-man commission has been given the mandate to probe specific complaints related to 40% commission in public works across all departments.

The government has directed the now-dissolved SIT to submit all files, records and information it collected as a part of the probe to the one-man commission.

Court order

On its part, the Congress government has cited the High Court order of December 7 to disband the SIT.

The court – after taking note of multiple committees formed to inquiry the same set of works – had ordered a stay on all proceedings related to inquiry, but provided an opportunity to the government to justify formation of committees in the subsequent hearing.

Going by the UDD’s order, it appears that the government has decided to hand over the investigation entirely to the one-man commission, by not contesting the stay order issued by the court.

Some progress

Of the four teams probing the BBMP works, only one team — headed by Amlan Aditya Biswas — had made considerable progress in the investigation into road works. The three other teams — probing solid waste management (Ujwal Ghosh), stormwater drains (P C Jaffer) and ward works (R Vishal) — did not start work, citing multiple reasons, including manpower shortage.

The team headed by Biswas, an IAS officer of 1997 batch, had exposed serious lapses in road works in his interim report submitted to the government on December 5.

Biswas told DH earlier that the report, after evaluating the tender process and taking up site inspections, found prosecutable evidence.

It’s learnt that the report prompted a tug of war between the IAS officers incharge of the BBMP as well as one of the SIT chiefs.

Much before the court stay, the government was under pressure to dissolve the committee as some IAS officers found the SIT’s interim report focused more on the role of select officers rather than unearthing irregularities.

(Published 18 December 2023, 23:23 IST)

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