BENGALURU: Pointing out that neither the Investigating Officer (IO) of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) nor BBMP officials knew the whereabouts of the original report by the Technical Vigilance Committee Cell (TVCC) on multi-crore irregularities in the execution of civil works, a Special Court discharged several accused BBMP engineers and private firms from corruption cases.
A series of 141 standalone chargesheets were filed based on the TVCC report, and ample opportunity was given to produce it, failing which the cases collapsed. “The chargesheets submitted by the IO with respect to the accused persons are unsustainable in law. Accordingly, the proceedings stand closed,” said SV Srikanth, 77th Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge and Special Judge, Lokayukta, Bengaluru city, while discharging several accused persons in more than a dozen cases.
The cases pertain to civil works executed in Gandhi Nagar, Malleswaram and Raja Rajeshwari Nagar sub-divisions of BBMP between 2007 and 2008. N S Revanna, assistant engineer, Aishwarya Infrastructure and Developers, assistant engineers M Basavaraju and GR Kumar were among the several accused who were discharged.
Meanwhile, the High Court quashed proceedings against a number of retired officials -- executive engineer BG Prakash Kumar, assistant executive engineer TN Bettaswamaiah, chief engineer BT Ramesh and chief engineer M Thyagaraj -- on the ground that the chargesheets were not submitted on the basis of a separate complaint and FIR, and a standalone chargesheet on the common complaint is not maintainable.
Taking this also as a ground for discharging the accused in various criminal cases, the special court said the cases do not hold water as it is not known what is in the original TVCC report. The special court observed that the IO seems to have taken a chance in submitting the chargesheets, but no care was taken with respect to limitation, there was no separate complaint or TVCC report, or proper sanction order in respect of public servants. The IO submitted the chargesheet under provisions of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against the accused, based on a complaint filed by BBMP.