BBMP ad scam probe nears end, govt orders fresh one

BBMP ad scam probe nears end, govt orders fresh one

Will clarify if Lokayukta police probe is under way, says DGP (CID)

BBMP ad scam probe nears end, govt orders fresh one

Even as the Lokayukta police investigation into the advertisement mafia in the BBMP limits is nearing completion, the State government has ordered a parallel probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into the case.

The Lokayukta police probe covers irregularities in the advertisement section, including the missing files pertaining to advertisement licence and tax collection.The investigation was based on a direction issued by Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi.

The Upalokayukta was enquiring into the complaint filed by Sai Datta on the alleged irregularities in the issuance of advertisement licence and collection of tax.

Upon enquiry, the joint commissioners of eight BBMP zones – East, West, South, Yelahanka, Mahadevapura, Bommanahalli, Rajarajeshwari Nagar and Dasarahalli – as well as the assistant commissioner (advertisement) admitted to rampant existence of illegal hoardings in the City.

Justice Adi had directed the police to investigate into the illegal advertisement hoardings in the BBMP limits. The advertisement section officials had then submitted that only 1,745 out of more than 4,500 files on advertisement were available in the eight zones of BBMP. The officials had also submitted that advertisement tax and penalty had not been collected in any zone since 2008.

The Lokayukta police had registered the FIR under Sections 13(1) (c) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The police had issued notices to the joint commissioners of eight zones to furnish details about hoardings in public and private places in the City and details of the applications received for renewal of hoardings since 2008.

Eight teams of the Lokayukta police have so far done ‘mahazar’ (spot inspection) of all the advertisement hoardings. The teams had done the measurement of hoardings, videographing the ‘mahazar’ in the presence of witnesses, and also identified the illegal hoardings in the City.

The State government order for the CID probe stated that the BBMP had lost revenue of up to Rs 2,000 crore in the last eight years due to flaws in the advertisement policy. 

Again, the CID probe was based on the reports submitted by the assistant commissioner (advertisement).

DGP (CID) H C Kishorechandra said the government order had reached him and a clarification would be sought on the investigation already in progress.

“The order has just reached us. We will seek a clarification if there is already a probe under way in the matter,” he said.