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Corruption case: HC stays probe against one serving and two retired IAS officers- Mrit News

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The High Court of Karnataka on Monday stayed criminal proceedings and probe against two retired and one serving IAS officers initiated by a special court on a private complaint, which had alleged that six former officers of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department had caused loss of ₹269 crore to the exchequer by misappropriating public funds during the period 2009-15.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the interim order on the petitions filed by retired IAS officers and former principal secretaries of RDPR Department Amita Prasad and T.M. Vijay Bhaskar (who is also former Chief Secretary) and serving IAS officer E.V. Ramana Reddy, who is currently working as Additional Chief Secretary (Commerce and Industries Department).

A special court (for cases under Prevention of Corruption Act), Bengaluru, had on April 18 directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct an inquiry under Section 202(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and submit the report to the court within four months on the allegations made in the complaint lodged by S. Narayanaswamy, a social worker from Kolar district.

Also, the special court had said that an inquiry was essential whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding further against the officers while pointing out that under Section 202(1) the police are having limited power for investigation without registration of the case and arrest of the accused to find out existence of prima facie case.

On the allegation of misappropriation of funds pointed out in the complaint based on an audit report, the petitioner-officers had said that they had served in the department after the alleged actions.

While pointing out that even the auditor, who was examined by the special court, had not made any allegations against the petitioner-officers, it has been contended in the petition that audit report had found fault only with two other former officers of the department, Boregowda and Ramakrishna, and then manager of SyndicateBank.

It has been also contended in the petition that the special court could not have initiated action against the petitioner-officers sans prior sanction from the competent authority as per the provision of the law.

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