The Karnataka government was fined one lakh by the High Court for its “lethargic attitude” in failing to secure approval to prosecute a former chief secretary.
The High Court fined the Karnataka government one lakh for its “lethargic attitude” in failing to secure approval to prosecute a former chief secretary.
On April 20, 2022, the government pleader requested six weeks to acquire sanction for prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which the court allowed. The HC observed in a recent daily ruling, “It appears that the administration is not interested in pursuing the issue and defending the state’s property, which is in the hands of the former Chief Secretary.”
As a result, the state’s attitude must be condemned, and the state has yet to process the paperwork for DOPT (Department of Personnel and Training) sanction and submit the papers.” As a result, the HC imposed a one-lakh fine on the state government, which must be paid within one week.
“The state government is instructed to deposit the fine amount and reclaim it from the parties involved, who have made no effort in obtaining DOPT sanction in delivering paperwork despite being given six weeks.”
Bhaskaran had filed the original complaint alleging that Arvind Jadhav, the then Chief Secretary, had misused official power to create fake documents about government land in village Ramanayakanahalli in Anekal taluk, along with the deputy commissioner, assistant commissioner, and tahsildar of Anekal taluk.
The government took action against junior officials and authorized them to be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act. D B Gangaiah, a surveyor at the Department of Land Records, moved the High Court through his lawyer, A V Nishanth, to challenge the complaint against him. This petition has been pending before the High Court since 2020.
In 2021, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) presented a secret report on the case’s development to the HC. The court was informed that Anil Kumar, the tahsildar of Anekal, and other authorities were awaiting authorization to be prosecuted.
The HC was informed in February 2022 that sanction had been obtained to prosecute all government officials accused in the case, except the retired Chief Secretary, who had “already retired from service and the competent authority has to give sanction, and the same is in process, and it takes time because they have to get sanction from the Central Government DOPT.”
Four weeks were set aside in March to get the essential documents translated. On June 8, when the case was heard by Justice H P Sandesh, no sanction had been received. The HC said: “It appears that the state government is proceeding on the matter with a sluggish attitude, and this Court must persuade the state government to protect the state’s property, which the former Chief Secretary attempted to knock off to the extent of 66 acres, despite a complaint being filed in 2016,”