Padmaraj panel seeks CBI help

Padmaraj panel seeks CBI help

The Opposition parties led by the Congress and the JD(S) have been demanding a CBI inquiry into allegations levelled against the Chief Minister. However, the State government refused to budge to the Opposition’s demand and appointed the judicial commission. But, now, the Commission has sought the CBI’s expertise in investigation.

The State government appointed the commission after allegations - of illegal denotification of land acquired for various government projects, allotment of BDA sites against the provisions of law, favouritism in granting KIADB land - were levelled against the chief minister. The  terms of reference include probe into allotment of land by KIADB, KHB and BDA since 1995, when Deve Gowda was the chief minister.

The commission, constituted under the Commissions of the Inquiry Act 1952, has powers to utilise services of any investigation agency either of the State or the Centre with concurrence of the respective government.

Referring to invoking Section 5 A of the Act, the commission has written to the secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India, seeking its co-operation to utilise the services of the CBI.

Srivatsa Kedilaya, Secretary to the commission, said since the CBI is the top most investigating agency, the commission chose to utilise its services. However, the report  by the CBI is subject to the acceptance of the commission.

“The CBI can be asked to investigate in areas, where its expertise is necessary. As per the Commissions of the Inquiry Act, the agency whose service is being utilised by the commission has to conduct the investigation as per the directions and under the control of the commission. The Commission is at liberty either to accept or reject the CBI’s report”, he said.

Further, he said, the scope of the inquiry spreads over 15 years, during which six chief ministers ruled the state.

“Because the scope of the inquiry entails inquiry into acts and omissions of various government bodies, authorities, officers over a period of 15 years it would be appropriate to utilise the services of the premier investigating agency of the Central government”, he said.

The Commission has served notices on BDA, KIADB, Karnataka Housing Board, the Principal Secretary of Urban Development and Secretary of Housing seeking information pertaining to last 15 years with respect to the allegations referred to the commission for inquiry. The notices were issued on December 31, 2010 and the departments concerned have been asked to furnish the documents in 30 days. Kedilaya said that the commission would decide the matter for which it required the CBI’s service after scrutinising the documents.

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