'Parallel' Palike office: Engineer was charge-sheeted in 18 cases

'Parallel' Palike office: Engineer was charge-sheeted in 18 cases

Idaya Vendon, the executive engineer in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) who was recently in the news for running a “parallel” Palike office at the Vyalikaval house of Rajarajeshwarinagar MLA Munirathna, has been charge-sheeted in 18 cases by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The cases pertain to the fake bills scam that took place between 2007 and 2009 during the execution of works in the Gandhinagar division. A senior police officer said charge sheets would be filed in more cases in the days to come.

The CID has been investigating the alleged scam in Rs 1,539 crore worth of works executed in three BBMP divisions—Gandhinagar, Malleswaram and Rajarajeshwarinagar. Till date, it has filed 49 charge sheets and found various irregularities, besides instances of fake bills and work orders.

The CID has named nearly 40 engineers and an equal number of contractors in these charge sheets. Vendon was executive engineer in the Gandhinagar division. He has been charged under sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) of the IPC.

“It’s a huge task to probe 10,000-odd works. We are analysing each work and getting expert opinion on the auditing and engineering aspects. The probe has revealed that quality in asphalting work was compromised in some cases while works were ordered without prior sanction in some other instances. In a few cases, bills were generated though there had been no work at all,” an officer said.

Sources in the BBMP said that Vendon, a permanent BBMP staffer, had joined the civic agency as a work inspector/junior engineer. According to a senior BBMP official, Vendon spent most of his career in the Gandhinagar division. The initial allegation was that works worth Rs 800 crore were executed in that division.

“Gandhinagar is one of the oldest areas of Bengaluru and has better infrastructure. In fact, works worth Rs 800 crore in Gandhinagar had surprised the Technical Vigilance Cell under Commissioner, which first submitted the report on the alleged irregularities in three divisions,” the official said.

FIRs challenged
The CID officers, meanwhile, are busy prosecuting their case and the charge sheets in the High Court. Sources said that government officials and contractors had filed 30-40 writ petitions before the High Court. Some petitions have challenged the jurisdiction of the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) in registering the FIR while others prayed for quashing the same.

The BMTF had registered the FIR (04/2011) into the alleged irregularities in three divisions in 2011. However, a suspected fire at the BMTF police station on the BBMP headquarter premises prompted the State government to hand over the probe to the CID.

A similar fire had broken out in the office of the chief engineer, BBMP, west zone, in 2009, gutting many a file. Incidentally, the Gandhinagar division falls under the west zone.

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