Forgery, atrocities cases taken out of its purview;
Notification says it is guilty of illegal investigation.

The State Government on Monday issued a notification withdrawing the investigating powers of the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), taking cases of forgery and atrocities booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) out of its purview.

BMTF, headed by senior IPS officer R.P. Sharma, will now have to restrict itself to cases pertaining to encroachment of government land, lakes and parks.

The notification comes after BMTF has registered more than 150 cases against civic administration officials, besides Ministers and senior IAS officers. They include 29 Assistant Executive Engineers of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike for their alleged failure to act on various violations during the last one week.

The government explanation was that there is confusion over BMTF’s jurisdiction and scope as large number of cases investigated by it had been stayed by the High Court of Karnataka because the task force took up investigation under the Indian Penal Code and not the Special Acts pertaining to the protection of government land and property.

BMTF is also guilty of unauthorised investigation under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, the notification said and added that it had been constituted to protect tanks, lakes and tank beds.

“But BMTF booking cases of forgery and atrocity under Indian Penal Code is encroachment of the powers of the jurisdictional police station… [and] would result in loss of focus and objectives for which it has been created,” it said. The government had transferred Mr. Sharma a few months ago, but he took it up with the Central Administrative Tribunal, which directed the government to retain him for his full term.

No comment

Mr. Sharma refused to comment saying that he had not received any orders so far and that he would comment only after that.

Meanwhile, the AEEs of Domlur, Kempegowda Nagar, Hebbal, Yeshwanthpur, Arakere and HAL areas, who had been booked by the BMTF over the last one week, made a beeline to the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Courts along with their advocates to check the status of their cases.

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