In a first, ACB books official for graft after govt's approval

In a first, ACB books official for graft after govt's approval

Geologist accused of causing loss of Rs 1 cr to exchequer

In a first, ACB books official for graft after govt's approval

For the first time, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against a state official after obtaining the government’s permission. The deputy director of mines and geology, Bengaluru Rural, has been booked for causing a loss of Rs 1 crore to the exchequer.

Prior sanction is a prerequisite for registering the FIR in cases other than those of trap and disproportionate assets.

The state government, while establishing the ACB, mandated that prior permission be obtained in crimes committed in the colour of office (acting in official capacity but taking action which is not authorised).

The official in question is Sampath Krishna, a senior geologist and in-charge deputy director, Bengaluru Rural.

He had directed a geologist named Jagadish to do a spot inspection of a stone quarrying licence (number 2403) site in survey number 18 at Makenahalli village, Nelamangala taluk, and to probe whether minerals were being transported without a valid permit.

Jagadish did the spot inspection on July 6, 2016, and filed a report stating that 40,000 tonnes of mineral was mined and transported without the valid Mineral Despatch Permit.

Royalty payment

“Based on the report, Krishna should have collected a royalty payment of Rs 60 per tonne of mineral. He should have also levied a penalty five times the total royalties. But it was found that the official collected only Rs 18 lakh as royalties and forewent the remaining Rs 8.99 lakh.

“This apart, the five-fold penalty on the royalties was also not levied on the lease holder.This caused a loss of Rs 1 crore to the exchequer,” an official said.

Preliminary enquiry

After a preliminary enquiry, the ACB sent a report to the competent authority — appointing authority of the said official — seeking sanction to register the FIR.

“We have sent requests to different competent authorities seeking sanction to
register FIRs in six different cases. Of them, sanction was granted in respect of this case recently and the FIR has been registered. The sanction orders in the other cases are still awaited,” the official added.

60 cases of trap, illegal wealth

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has so far registered 60 cases of trap and disproportionate assets (DA) till September 29. Of these, 45 are trap cases and the remaining DA cases.

“Till August 17, we had registered 17 cases of trap and the DA. In the last three weeks, the number of cases has increased and so far we have arrested 46 public servants on allegations of corruption. We are also conducting extensive training for our officials at the Karnataka Police Academy in Mysuru. Officials from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were invited to train our officers in cases of corruption,” Inspector General of Police M A Saleem told DH. 

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