Home CITY UPDATES Court battle between BBMP engineer, ex-corporator set to escalate

Court battle between BBMP engineer, ex-corporator set to escalate

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BBMP counsel says former Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar was referred to in letter requesting tender exemption for white-topping work

CJ says that to ‘understand the truth’, Bhaskar has to appear in court

BENGALURU:

The tiff between former BJP corporator NR Ramesh and BBMP Chief Engineer BS Prahallad may take a new twist on March 17, if the petitioner (Ramesh) decides to continue with his case in the Karnataka High Court.

Earlier, Chief Justice AS Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty had sought the name of the ‘Chief Secretary’ referred to by the former BBMP Commissioner in a letter addressed to the Urban Development Department’s Additional Chief Secretary, in which 4G exemption was sought to undertake two white- topping works in Yediyur ward.

At the hearing on March 10, the advocate representing the BBMP Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner (Admin) mentioned the name of the ‘Chief Secretary’ as TM Vijay Bhaskar.

Former Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar

Read here: White-topping scam may drag in former Chief Secretary https://thebengalurulive.com/white-topping-scam-may-drag-in-former-chief-secretary/

Sources said the CJ asked the petitioner’s advocate whether he wanted to continue with the case or wanted to withdraw the petition. “Now that the BBMP’s advocate on record has mentioned the name of the Chief Secretary, I have to issue him notice to appear in person to understand the truth. More things may come out. Hence, let me know whether the petitioner will continue with his petition or is he ready to withdraw the same,” the CJ reportedly said.

“Pursuant to the order dated 2nd March 2021, a memo has been filed by the learned counsel appearing for the third and fourth respondents disclosing the name of the Chief Secretary. Considering the seriousness of the allegations made against the petitioner, who is claiming to be a pro bono litigant, notice will have to be issued to the person named in the memo only with a view to understand the truth,” the judge mentioned in his daily order updated during the hearing.

Ramesh counsel seeks time

Interestingly, when the CJ started his dictation (for issuance of notice to Vijay Bhaskar), counsel appearing for the petitioner sought time to speak to the petitioner as the latter was not present during the hearing. Hence, the CJ has now listed the petition for March 17.

“The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner seeks time to take instructions from the petitioner on whether he wants to prosecute the petition. List the petition on 17th March 2021 at 12.45 pm,” the CJ announced.

BBMP Commissioner angry with head of legal cell

Meanwhile, sources said that BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad lost his cool vis-a-vis the head of BBMP’s Legal Cell KD Deshpande on March 10, the day the HC was hearing the matter. It is said that Deshpande filed a memo in the HC without the knowledge or concurrence of the BBMP Commissioner.

Prasad reportedly called Deshpande and took him to task, following which the 68-year-old Deshpande submitted a notesheet to consider his resignation, which was submitted during the former BBMP Commissoner’s tenure.

Also Read: Former Corporator-Chief Engineer tiff now in High Court https://thebengalurulive.com/former-corporator-chief-engineer-tiff-now-in-high-court/ on February 1.

Engineer suspended

Earlier, the South zone’s in-charge Executive Engineer Mahantesh was suspended for referring to the then Chief Secretary in a notesheet.

Read here: Writing Chief Secretary’s name in notesheet gets BBMP engineer suspended https://thebengalurulive.com/writing-chief-secretarys-name-in-notesheet-gets-bbmp-engineer-suspended/

What is the case

BJP leader NR Ramesh has filed a writ petition against Chief Engineer BS Prahallad. As per the former corporator, he had made many complaints earlier against Prahallad with senior bureaucrats as well as with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, but no concrete action was taken. Subsequently, Ramesh decided to take the legal route by filing a writ petition (No. 15780/2020) in the High Court.

For his part, Prahallad sought and obtained permission from his department head, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad, to file a police complaint against Ramesh for ‘obstructing’ him in his duties as a BBMP engineer. Interestingly, permission to Prahallad was given on December 21, 2020, the same day that Ramesh filed his petition in the HC.

Ramesh was a BBMP corporator from 2010 to 2015, winning on a BJP ticket, and was also floor leader in the Council during 2015. Later, his wife Poornima won on a BJP ticket from the same ward – Yediyur — and was corporator from August 2015 to September 2020.

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