Lokayukta transfers KSOU, V-C case to government

It pertains to misappropriation of funds

The Lokayukta has transferred six cases filed against the Karnataka State Open University and its former vice-chancellor K S Rangappa to the Higher Education department.

In six letters, all dated July 4, the Lokayukta has stated that the quasi-judicial body “does not have jurisdiction” over conducting investigation into the KSOU cases.

Quoting the High Court of Karnataka case of Prof S N Hegde Vs The Lokayukta and Others, the judgement in which was delivered on February 4, 2004, Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao said that this office cannot investigate the complaint and has to be thus transferred to the Higher Education department.

In the HC verdict, delivered by Justice N Kumar, it is said, “The Lokayukta has no jurisdiction to investigate the complaints against the vice-chancellor of a university. The vice-chancellor and the professor of a university are not class ‘A’ officers and, therefore, the Lokayukta has no jurisdiction under the notification to investigate the complaints against them.”

The Lokayukta stated that the complaints require further action and “thus may be forwarded to the principal secretary of the Higher Education department”.

The six cases, all filed by RTI activist Shamanna from Tumkur, pertain to six different violations. The complaints pertain to violations in appointment of 21 regional directors to misappropriation of funds in the construction of buildings for five regional centres of KSOU.

Six complaints

All the six complaints name KSOU and Rangappa as the accused.

Only in the case of the construction of ‘non-essential’ buildings in its five regional centres, the complaint refers to sitting V-C M G Krishnan. The complaint states that Krishnan had awarded the contract of constructing the regional centre buildings, which were non-essential, to a single company BSR Infratech India Limited. Each building is estimated to cost Rs 10.51 crore, with an overall estimated cost of Rs 52.55 crore.

“I had filed all these complaints in the last one year, hoping that Lokayukta will investigate the matter. But it now appears that the cases have been transferred to the government. It is all an eye-wash,” said Shamanna.

Nonetheless, the transfer of cases has resulted in the government seeking a detailed report from the KSOU registrar. On August 26, the Higher Education department sought a comprehensive report from the vice-chancellor on the allegations levelled against him and the university.

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