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Karnataka HC stays Commission of Inquiry's proceedings into alleged 40% 'commission' under BJP

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      12 December, 2023 06:03 PM      0 Comments

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court has stayed further proceedings before a one-man Commission of Inquiry, which is probing the allegation of "40% commission" in the award of contracts under the previous BJP government, till the State government explains why the enquiry was not completed within one month time as was notified.

A bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna passed the interim order on December 7 on the petition filed by M/s Nikshep Infra Projects and 43 other firms and individual contractors.

"The emphatic submission is that the impugned order directing constitution of Special Investigating Cell was on August 05, 2023 with a specific direction to conclude the enquiry in 30 days and a report be submitted, 4 months have passed by, nothing has happened except constitution of a one-man Inquiry Commission under the Commissions of Enquiry Act, 1952, which was on August 25, 2023," the bench said.

The petitioner contractors assailed the August 5, 2023, notification of setting up the special investigation cell to examine the allegation of "40% commission" in the contracts works awarded from 2019-20 to 2022-23.

The government had set up the Commission of Inquiry headed by H N Nagamohan Das, a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court.

The petitioners contended that the change in government had led to the scrutiny of all the works that have taken place earlier and where the completion certificates are already issued by the competent authorities.

They have also complained about the hardship faced by them due to non-payment of the amount due to them despite the grant of the completion certificate.

The petitioners have also informed the court that a special investigating cell was set up on August 5 with a specific direction to conclude the enquiry in 30 days and a report be submitted. However, even after four months of the setting up of the special cell, nothing has happened except the constitution of a one-man commission enquiry.

Having noticed the non-completion of the enquiry within one month, the court said that there would be an interim order of stay for further proceedings of the enquiry commission until the government explained why the enquiry was not completed.

"In light of the submission of non-completion of the enquiry within one month, till the state explain as to why enquiry is not completed within one month. There shall be an interim order of stay for further proceedings pursuant to impugned constitution of enquiry," the bench said.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on December 19.



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