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Karnataka High Court criticises government for its ‘lethargic approach’, slaps Rs 1 lakh fine

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The Karnataka High Court came down heavily on the state government for its lethargic attitude to get sanction to prosecute a retired Chief Secretary and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh. The court gave the order while taking up the petition of one of the accused D.B. Gangaiah, a surveyor who questioned that only junior officers are being prosecuted. The order was given on June 8. Gangaiah was prosecuted based on the complaint filed by one Bhaskaran against former Chief Secretary Arvind Jadhav. The complainant had charged that Jadhav along with DC, AC and Tehsildar of Anekal taluk had allegedly misused his power to create fake documents.

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The fake documents were created on the 66 acres of the government land in Ramanayakanahalli in Anekal taluk in the outskirts of Bengaluru city. The government during the course of investigation had only sanctioned prosecution of junior government employees under the Prevention of Corruption Act. While being questioned on this in the High Court, the counsel for the government maintained that the process of obtaining sanction to prosecute retired Chief Secretary is on and it is coordinating with the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) of the central government.

However, since the government did not obtain sanction to prosecute till date, the bench headed by Justice P. Sandesh remarked that the government is showing lethargic attitude. The court also remarked that the state is not interested to protect its property which is at the hands of the former Chief Secretary. The government counsel is directed to deposit Rs 1 lakh in a week and recover the same from the accused in the case. The matter had been posted to June 16.

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