Corruption rampant in government offices, Karnataka HC slams BJP-led state government

The high court denied the bail plea of a Bangalore Development Authority assistant manager in a ₹1 crore bribe case.

BySaurav Kumar

Published Aug 20, 2022 | 6:43 PMUpdatedAug 20, 2022 | 6:43 PM

Karnataka High Court

Already reeling under the shadow of “commission” and “corruption” allegations, the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government in Karnataka was pulled up once again by Opposition parties following a High Court observation on Saturday, 20 August, stating, “No file moves without a bribe in government offices.”

The latest observation by the high court has turned into ammo for the Indian National Congress.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Karnataka Randeep Surjewala, soon after high court observation, baptised the Bommai-led government as the “bribery government”.

Taking a jibe at the BJP-led state government, he tweeted, “Stinging judicial observations of, ‘No file moves without a bribe’ once again exposes the #40% Commission, Sarkar. ‘Bommai Govt’ should be renamed as “Bribery Govt”! (sic).”

What the judge said

Justice K. Natarajan made the observation while denying bail to an assistant engineer of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), KT Raju, who had allegedly demanded ₹1 crore for passing a favourable order in a land case.

Natarajan, while hearing the bail plea, said, “Nowadays, in the government offices, corruption has become rampant and no file will is moved without any bribe. Therefore, I am of the view that the petitioner is not entitled to the grant of bail at this stage.”

The BDA assistant engineer was arrested by the the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) sleuths on 7 June while accepting ₹5 lakh as an advance for the bribe.

According to the ACB case, Raju had demanded ₹1 crore to process papers to provide alternative land on behalf of the acquired land.

The BDA had acquired a piece of land measuring 33 guntas in Kengri village located on the outskirts of Bengaluru city without any acquisition proceedings. The land belongs to one Suvvalal Jain and Suresh Chand Jain.

The original owners had moved an application before the BDA for an alternate site, or for their land to be returned. Subsequently, after moving from one desk to another, the file reached Raju for verification and approvals.

According to ACB officials, Raju kept the file pending for around six months and was demanding a bribe of ₹1 crore — which was later negotiated to ₹60 lakh — for sending the file up to his seniors.

Recent remarks by Karnataka HC

The Karnataka government has recently has faced flak for the recurrence of corruption cases in the state by the state high court.

Karnataka High Court had, on 11 August, ordered abolishing the state government-controlled ACB for its failure to nab corrupt officials.

In July, the high court had slammed the ACB for going soft on a bureaucrat charged of corruption.