BBMP engineer held in fake bill scam

BBMP engineer held in fake bill scam

The investigation into the multi-crore rupee fake bill scam at the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) made some headway with the arrest of a Palike executive engineer of Gandhinagar division, Idaya Vendon, Thursday night.

The recent fire in the Palike’s annexe building has apparently hastened the pace of the probe by the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF).

Idaya Vendon was subjected to intensive questioning and was eventually arrested on Thursday. He was later produced before a local court and then remanded to judicial custody on Friday.

Briefing mediapersons here, Dr R P Sharma, Inspector General of Police (IGP) of BMTF, said the Task Force had conducted a medical examination on Vendon before interrogating him. Once convinced of his direct role in the scam, he was formally arrested and remanded to judicial custody.

“We did not do any wrong detention. We have arrested him. In the absence of resources, the BMTF took the accused to the Halasur Gate police station for interrogation and finally he was arrested,” said the BMTF chief.

The senior IPS officer did not give any more information about the inquiry saying that the investigation is at a “crucial stage”.

Sources in the BMTF said the arrested executive engineer has reportedly named 11 officers allegedly involved in the scam and has given certain leads in the probe.

The Palike sources said works worth at least Rs 600 crore were shown as executed in Gandhinagar, although in fact only very few of them were actually implemented. But money was paid in full to the contractors on the basis of fake bills. Vendon, who was entrusted with the job of getting the work done in a proper manner, remained silent on the large-scale of illegalities taking place in his jurisdictional area.

Congress fumes

Reacting sharply to the arrest, Leader of Opposition in BBMP Council Udayashankar said the BMTF was biased in its probe. He said: “The BMTF is targeting Assembly constituencies represented by Congress MLAs, while turning a blind eye to the irregularities in constituencies represented by the BJP MLAs.”

The scam came to light when Palike Commissioner Siddaiah ordered the Technical Vigilance Committee under Commissioner (TVCC) to probe the works carried out in three constituencies - Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Gandhinagar and Malleswaram. The probe brought to fore a scam to the tune of Rs 1,539 crore.

Considering the enormity of the case, Siddaiah entrusted the inquiry to the BMTF about a month ago. Soon after undertaking the task, Dr Sharma had told reporters that the extent of the scam is much more than what people had thought. He also said that the probe would not be restricted to just three constituencies but would cover other areas also, if the situation warranted.

Before the probe could begin, a fire at the BMTF annexe building threatened to derail the investigations. However, all the documents pertaining to the scam reportedly survived and are said to be safe.

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