BANGALORE: Members of the Opposition slammed the state government in the Legislative Council for its poor handling of the Lokayukta investigation on the alleged misappropriation of funds while erecting solar fences in Nagarahole National Park. Making a submission on a calling attention motion by Congress member K C Kondaiah, he said that the report had, in March 2004, called for action against 8 IFS officers.
Intervening in the debate JD(S) member M C Nanaiah accused the state government of trying to insulate the corrupt officers from punitive action.
“The government failed to take any action even against the three IFS officers indicted by the second inquiry officer and exonerated them. Such an attitude will not give credibility to any state government,” Nanaiah said. Likening corrupt officials as a bottleneck to development, he asked: “Why should the government protect tainted officers?”
“In my opinion, the wealth amassed by some of the state officials would equal the annual revenue of the state government. The government must restore faith among the people by punishing the guilty,” he added. Responding to Nanaiah, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda termed the matter “serious” and sought time to submit a comprehensive reply. “The charges raise our suspicions and I need time to set the record straight,” he said.
The government which received the report appointed a retired district and sessions judge N Subbarao as inquiry officer to look into the matter. The officer after inquiry exonerated five IFS officers and recommended further action against the other three officers.