HC orders ACB to probe irregularities in BDA works

HC orders ACB to probe irregularities in BDA works

The high court has ordered an ACB investigation into alleged irregularities in BDA contracts and sought a report in six months. 

A division bench of Justices Ravi Malimath and M Nagaprasanna gave the order on a writ appeal filed by the BDA against the award of Rs 10.81-crore compensation to B K Gangadhar, a contractor, by an arbitration centre. 

The case dates back to 2012 when the BDA had awarded the work pertaining to Arkavathi Layout to the contractor who had quoted Rs 473 lakh for works estimated to cost Rs 606 lakh. The contractor, however, did not finish the work in three months, as stipulated in the tender, and wrote to the BDA seeking more funds. The contractor later moved an arbitration centre, seeking a Rs 19-crore compensation, and was awarded Rs 10.81 crore. The BDA appealed against the compensation. 

“It is the taxpayer’s money that is paid for development works. Officials colluding with some contractors allowed the works to be delayed, resulting in the cost overrun. The exchequer is suffering losses to the tune of crores of rupees,” the bench observed orally. 

The court ordered the ACB to look into BDA works clouded by similar allegations — those in the tendering as well as the ones finished recently. A report should be submitted in six months, the bench added. 

Welcoming the court order, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa asked for a probe into all contracts tendered by the BDA and the BBMP in the last two years.

He said the ACB should also probe the substandard works carried out by the BBMP. He said many roadworks by the BDA and BBMP were substandard and that the ACB needn’t wait for the deadline to submit the report.