Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has stayed all further proceedings and the investigation ordered by a Special Court (Prevention of Corruption Act) here against three IAS officers, including former Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar, in a graft case.
The 23rd Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge (Special Judge) had taken cognisance of the private complaint against the three officers and three others and directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate and file a report on the alleged offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The order was passed on April 18 and the ACB was given four months to file the report.
The three IAS officers are: Amita Prasad, Dr E V Ramana Reddy and Vijay Bhaskar (Retd).
All three served as Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department (RDPRD), in various terms between 2011 and 2015. Vijay Bhaskar subsequently became the Chief Secretary.
Based on a complaint lodged on November 14, 2015, alleging corruption in the implementation of the National Rural Drinking Water Programme and State Water and Sanitation Mission, a charge-sheet was filed against six people.
It was alleged that the accused had transferred the money allotted for the schemes into other bank accounts without the notice of higher authorities causing a notional loss to the tune of Rs 269 crore.
During the pendency of that case, another complaint was filed against Boregowda P, director of RDPRD, and Ramakrishna, deputy secretary of RDPR, on the same set of allegations. A 'B Final Report' (Closure report) was filed in the case by the Halsurugate police.
In 2021, S Narayanswamy filed a private complaint against the three IAS officers on the same set of allegations.
The complainant alleged that an audit report by the Karnataka State Audit and Accounts Department, indicated a difference amount to the tune of Rs 3355.21 crore in the utilisation for the schemes under the Panchayat Raj Department.
It was alleged that Amita Prasad authorised and ordered opening 104 accounts for the scheme.
Dr Ramana Reddy allegedly ordered transferring Rs 272 crore from the treasury to a fake account at Andhra Bank in Indiranagar Benglauru causing a loss of Rs 55 crore.
Vijay Bhaskar, the complaint alleged, signed excessive utilisation certificate and misled the Government of India.