Engineer caught by Lokayukta reinstated

Three engineers, including Narasimharaju, Assistant Executive Engineer T S Lokesh Kumar and Assistant Engineer Santhosh Kumar who were arrested by the police after Lokayayukta sleuths raided their department office on September 20, were released on bail after they were produced before the court on September 21. They were arrested after the Lokayukta sleuths found property disproportionate to their known source of income. The sleuths has also seized 10 blank cheques from them.

The three men were arrested following a complaint filed by a PWD Contractor Haji Hameed claiming that they had taken his cheque book and pass book and were withdrawing money from his bank account indiscriminately. On the other hand, Executive Engineer Narasimharaju had alleged that the complainant Hameed had stopped mid way the contract work worth Rs 12 crore entrusted to him. The contracts were undertaken at Puttur, Bantwal and Sullia taluks.

“Just to complete the works on time, we had provided the contractor a JCB, tipper among other equipment after he promised to pay the material providers. But he failed to pay for the equipment used totalling about Rs 1.13 crore. As he failed to pay the dues, we decided to take cheques from him. Hence, he had given us the blank cheques,” Narasimharaju had told the Lokayukta officers.

Hedge’s response

Lokayukta justice Santosh Hegde has come down heavily on the State government for reinstating PMGSY Executive Engineer Narasimharaju.

“I can’t understand the motive of the government behind reinstating Narasimharaju and corrupt officials. Such things are becoming a regular feature especially in Public Works Department. WI will write a letter of protest to the concerned department on Friday,” Hegde told Deccan Herlad.

“The government seems to choose a few officials to reinstate at the same place and position. The Lokayukta was not consulted before reinstating Narasimharaju,” Hegde fumed.

The government had agreed to the Lokayukta recommendations that it will keep officials trapped or raided under suspension till inquiry is over or at least for a period of six months. The government had also promised to consult the Lokayukta before reinstating any such official. The government had also assured that such officials will be not given the same position at the same place where they were caught, Hegde revealed.

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