MYSORE: Senior officials who ran the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) here could soon face criminal investigation on charges of large-scale corruption.
ATI director-general Rashmi V has recommended a CBI or Lokayukta inquiry against six officials, including senior IAS officer Amita Prasad and Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer R Manoj.
The officials allegedly committed the irregularities between 2008-14. In a report submitted to Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, Rashmi has said Prasad used the state’s premier Administrative Training Institute for personal gain.
“Though the irregularities seem to be small, rampant corruption in ATI, State Institute of Urban Development (SIUD) and Abdul Nasirsab Institute of Rural Development (ANSSIRD) will come to be known if an investigation is ordered,” her report says.
Referring to digitisation of the District Disaster Management Plans by Wizards Technologies, Rashmi says the agency was chosen arbitrarily.
She suspects “nepotism and extraneous considerations” prompted the choice.
“This is not a procedural error, but an informed decision taken by Amita Prasad to favour a single private organisation by channeling public funds under any and every pretext. The role of R Manoj, IFS, also needs to be probed,” she has said.
Others in the Dock
The other officials she has mentioned in her 29-page report are Joint Director Prakash (in-charge), Deputy Director Nagaraj, Warden Sarveshwar, Senior Systems Analyst Nagendra (Outsourcing) and Rajashekharappa, Assistant Executive Engineer.
“Prima facie, it appears that an attempt was made by Amita Prasad to divert plan funds and resources to the panchayat fund,” the report says, suggesting that the money was used arbitrarily “for private needs”.
Civil works to the extent of `60 crore were given to private agencies in violation of norms. Prasad transferred public funds to private agencies without calling for tenders or following a transparent procedure, the report says, adding that catering and housekeeping accounting also looked suspect.
In response to the letter, Additional Chief Secretary T M Vijaya Bhaskar visited the institute. Close to 5,000 files need to be checked to unearth the scam, whose extent is `100 crore, sources told Express.
When contacted, Prasad said Rashmi was maligning her out of “jealousy”.
“I have earned a reputation serving in Karnataka for three decades and built up the Administrative Training Institute to international standards. If I have violated the KTTP Act, the Accountant-General would have pointed it out,” she said.
As director-general and senior principal secretary-grade officer, Prasad said she had the powers to make those transactions.
On the fine of `6.5 lakh slapped against her for overstaying 292 days at the ATI quarters after her transfer, Prasad said she had informed Rashmi beforehand.
“I told her I would be staying there till October, and there is no question of paying a penalty,” she said.