The government has clipped the wings of the controversial Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) by stripping its police powers, which allowed it to file cases under the Indian Penal Code.
The BMTF was created in 1996 by the Urban Development Department and tasked with the protection of government land, lakes and public property.
The notification issued by the Urban Development Department on February 2 appears to be a move to dilute high-profile cases booked against politicians, including Home Minister R Ashok, Law Minister Suresh Kumar, Health Minister Aravind Limbavali and others, by BMTF.
The notification said: “There is confusion with regard to jurisdiction and scope of the powers of the BMTF. An appraisal of large number of cases being investigated by BMTF in which investigation has been stayed by the HC reveals that investigations in majority of cases is being conducted under the IPC only. No offence has been registered and being investigated under Special Acts pertaining to protection of government land, property etc. It is also seen that investigations have been taken up under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act under which the BMTF has not been specifically authorised.”
The notification added that BMTF should restrict its jurisdiction and register cases and proceed with investigation only when the complaints are made under the Special Acts.
The friction between the government and BMTF began last year when ADGP R P Sharma booked a case against Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy for sanctioning government land by declaring a false affidavit.