HC orders notice to Lokayukta

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday ordered notice to the Karnataka Lokayukta in connection with a petition seeking an inquiry against Lokayukta officials accused of favouring BBMP engineers who are said to have embezzled government funds.

Former mayor P R Ramesh had filed a complaint with the Lokayukta in August 2013 seeking investigation into alleged irregularities into multi-crore project for remodelling and constructing stormwater drains in Hebbal, Vrishabavathi, Koramangala and Chellaghatta valleys. The project was conceived in the year 2005-06 at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore. However by 2008, when it came under JnNURM, only 40 pc of the work was completed and the cost had escalated to Rs 950 crore.

The chief engineer of BBMP submitted his reply to the Lokayukta and the latter directed Ramesh to file his rejoinder before November 26, 2013. However, the letter to this effect was sent to Ramesh by post on December 2, 2013 which reached him two days later.

When Ramesh furnished a reply, the Lokayukta refused to do so saying the matter has been closed and it cannot be re-opened. Ramesh, in his petition, submitted that the Lokayukta passed the order without hearing him and erroneously accepted the statement made by the chief engineer. 

A division bench comprising Justices K L Manjunath and Ravi Malimath ordered notice to the Lokayukta.

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