BENGALURU: The state government has cracked the whip on a senior official, found guilty of acting on requests submitted to his office through middlemen and agents, while keeping requests submitted directly by the public pending. As part of his punishment, the official, a Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) officer, will have two annual increments withheld with cumulative effect.
The official is C Manjunatha, who was found guilty of favouring middlemen during his posting as the Tahsildar, Bengaluru South. Presently, he is working as the Assistant Commissioner, Doddaballapura sub-division of Bengaluru Rural district. The government’s penal action comes on the basis of a recommendation by the Upa Lokayukta, which it has accepted. In the order, issued on June 28 this year by the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Services-2), it is mentioned that Manjunatha had kept a total of 7,719 applications pending out of a total of 12,245 applications for various government schemes and benefits. He disposed of only 4,526 applications.
Some of the categories of applications kept pending include the issue of ‘saguvali application’, ‘Suraksha Yojna’ forms for the physically challenged. He also kept pending a pension application filed by one Girija.
In his report, the Upa Lokayukta sought a departmental enquiry against Manjunatha as he was found guilty of misconduct under service rules. In turn, the Revenue Department entrusted the departmental enquiry to the Upa Lokayukta, stating that since the allegations against the Tahsildar were serious in nature, it was appropriate that the Upa Lokayukta conducted the enquiry to ascertain the truth.
During the enquiry, the Upa Lokayukta went through the written statement filed by the accused as well as the allegations against him. It was prima facie found that the Tahsildar neglected applications by showing a delay in disposing them. Based on this, in August 2017, it was recommended that the Government penalise the official by withholding two annual increments with cumulative effect.
The accused official pleaded innocence and denied the allegations against him in his response to the notice issued by the Upa Lokayukta.