Even as the state government reportedly soft-pedalling on the Rs 600 crore Magadi PWD scam, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) officials, who are investigating the scam, are likely to submit their findings soon.
Sources told Express that the CAG, which has taken up the case, believes it to be the biggest incident of siphoning off public money earmarked for road works.
It is reported to have found a prima facie case of embezzlement of funds released to Magadi sub-division of the PWD.
“The CAG has almost completed its investigation and is giving final touches to its report to be submitted to the Karnataka legislature,” an official said.
When CM Siddaramaiah was Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, he had raised the issue in the Belgaum session. He had sought a Lokayukta probe into the issue.
During a calling attention motion in the House, Siddaramaiah had charged that the contractors, with the connivance of PWD officials, had illegally split the works and siphoned off large sums causing a huge revenue loss to the state’s exchequer.
C M Udasi, then PWD minister, in his reply to the House, had agreed to a House panel probe. Speaker K G Bopaiah had constituted a seven-member committee headed by BJP’s Appasaheb Pattanshetty to probe the scam. The House Committee, in its report, had found substance in the charges hurled by the Opposition Leader and recommended a thorough inquiry into the issue. The committee also said action should be taken against officials in PWD and Finance Department. Meanwhile, Lokayukta police of Ramanagaram district also registered a case and filed FIRs against 15 people, including three contractors.
The Lokayukta police, who found prima facie evidence in the scam, had also sought permission from the government to go ahead with the prosecution of erring officials. While the government is yet to act on the plea of the Ramanagaram Lokayukta, the Siddaramaiah government has reportedly opted for a fresh departmental probe into the mega scam.