Fake bill scam could be bigger

BMTF may extend the inquiry to more areas

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Dr Sharma said: “We have to go through 10,000 files while only 153 files have been examined so far. Others could not be accessed due to non-availability of files.”

He admitted that all the files have not reached him though he has repeatedly requested the BBMP authorities to move them. When asked what the BMTF will do if the files are shown as missing, Dr Sharma said the law has made enough provisions to register a case, in case the files go missing.

The BMTF has so far questioned 11 people in this connection but has not zeroed in on any name so far. About setting a deadline for finishing the probe, Dr Sharma said given the enormity of the case, any timeline could not be drawn.

“The local vigilance took 15 to 20 days to examine 150-odd files. It’s a tough job on our hand. We are making all efforts to expedite the inquiry,” said the officer.

No restriction
According to Dr Sharma, BMTF can take up investigation into fake bills in other divisions also and not necessarily restrict it to Gandhinagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Malleswaram.

The BMTF registered a case on November 4 based on a complaint by the BBMP’s additional commissioner (administration) about the financial irregularities that came to the fore after a probe conducted by the technical vigilance committee under commissioner (TVCC) of the BBMP.

“The internal vigilance had restricted its probe to three divisions (Gandhinagar, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Malleswaram). However, there is no restriction on us to probe other areas,” said the senior police officer.

He said he would not go into details why the BBMP restricted its investigation to three constituencies, but the BMTF would not bind itself to such limits.

Tough task
He said the scam took place from 2008-09 to 2011-12. The delay in detecting the scam and handing over the case to the BMTF has increased the workload and made the job of investigation tougher.

Impartial probe sought
The Human Rights Awareness Committee on Wednesday staged a demonstration at the BBMP head office demanding a detailed and impartial probe into all the works carried out in the last four years in 28 Assembly constituencies .

Led by veteran freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, the participants holding banners and placards staged the demonstration near the BBMP office. They raised slogans against rampant corruption in the Palike and later submitted a memorandum to the BBMP Commissioner.

Addressing the demonstrators Doreswamy said the Palike should conduct a fair probe into the scams that took place in the last four years and should not restrict the investigation merely to three constituencies.

He also said that the MLAs, who were calling the shots before the elected body came into being in the Palike last year, should also be brought under the purview of the investigation.

Dr Meenakshi Bharath from Lok Satta Party said the Lokayukta can better probe the matter given the enormity of the case.

The memorandum submitted to the commissioner read that works worth Rs 2,184 crore in excess of the sanctioned budget was carried out. There is provision to spend money excess to the sanctioned budget but those provisions were thrown to the winds. The members stated in the memorandum that bogus works were carried out in Hebbal and Dasarahalli, which needs to be investigated thoroughly.

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