Energy dept fails to suspend official arrested for graft

Energy dept fails to suspend official arrested for graft

Contrary to the gazette notification on service rules, the Energy department has refused to suspend an electrical inspector, who was arrested for graft.

This is not all. When the Lokayukta police sent reminders to suspend the official, the department held a parallel inquiry and stated that no case was made out against the inspector.

Thiteera N Appacchu, electrical inspector of Bescom at Malleswaram, was arrested for accepting a bribe of Rs 31,000 on January 18 and was remanded in judicial custody for four days.

The Lokayukta police had written to Ravi Kumar, principal secretary of the Energy department, on January 28 to suspend Appacchu. However, in two months, he was transferred from Malleswaram to Gulbarga and no action was initiated against him in this regard.

The then ADGP Lokayukta H N S Rao wrote another letter in April 2014 drawing the attention of the competent authority to the circular on compulsory suspension of officials in cases of trap. As per the gazette notification dated November 25, 2010, a government servant is deemed to be under suspension after being in judicial custody for 48 hours.

Instead of placing the officer under suspension, the competent authority has given an opportunity to the electrical inspector to submit his statement in the agenda of suspension. After going through the submission of the accused, the Energy department has stated that there was no need to place the accused under suspension.

“The competent authority instead sent a report stating that it was for them to decide if a prima facie case was made out against the accused official. In the report it is also stated that the complainant was a habitual complainant and that there was no evidence to prove that the accused had demanded bribe,”' a Lokayukta official said.

When the ADGP Lokayukta sent another reminder, the Additional Chief Secretary replied  that there was no need to place the official under suspension since it was a five-month-old case.

“The accused was caught red-handed while accepting the bribe. There was telephone conversation between the accused and the complainant on demand of bribe. Besides, this is the second time the accused has been trapped for graft. Still, the Energy department states that there was no evidence against the accused,”' the official said.