HC refuses to absolve ex-commissioner of BBMP in graft case

The Karnataka High Court directed a petitioner to approach the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms to sanction a probe into alleged corruption by former BBMP Commissioner and IAS officer Lakhsminarayana. The DPAR now has to make a recommendation under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The recommendation will then go to the Centre for the grant of the prosecution sanction.

The Namma Bengaluru Foundation, an NGO wanted criminal action initiated against Lakshminarayana for issuing a trade licence to a person who runs Breakfast Club restaurant in a residential part of Koramangala against norms.

The commissioner is said to have wrote a note to BBMP health officials asking them to supply a trade license to the establishment in contravention of norms. The NGO said that by granting the licence, the commissioner violated the Revised Master Plan 2015 that barred commercial activity on roads that are 40 feet wide or less. The NGO first approached the government, seeking to prosecute Lakshminarayana but there was no response. It then moved the court which ordered the Additional Chief Secretary to consider its petition but he turned it down. The NGO moved the court again. On Wednesday, the ACS said he was not the competent authority to examine the petition following which the court ordered the petitioner to approach the DPAR.

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