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Meeting ends abruptly as ZP president walks out

Staff Correspondent
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He says official failed to produce original court order

having a word: DDPI K. Shankarappa and zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer Rangegowda at a KDP meeting in Chitradurga on Thursday.
having a word: DDPI K. Shankarappa and zilla panchayat Chief Executive Officer Rangegowda at a KDP meeting in Chitradurga on Thursday.

The monthly Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) review meeting here on Thursday ended abruptly following the boycott of the meeting by the zilla panchayat president, M. Jayanna.

The reason for his decision: the Deputy Director of Public Instruction Department, K. Shankarappa, “failed” to produce original documents of a court order and letter of the Chief Secretary directing the zilla panchayat to allow Mr. Shankarappa to continue in his post.

In the last meeting, the zilla panchayat had passed a resolution to send the officer on compulsory leave following allegations of corruption against him.

Soon after the meeting commenced, Mr. Jayanna demanded that Mr. Shankarappa not attend the meeting as the zilla panchayat had decided to send him on compulsory leave.

Defending himself, Mr. Shankarappa said that he had obtained a stay order from the Karnataka High Court against the panchayat decision and that he had a letter from the Chief Secretary which stated that he could continue in office. The official produced photocopies of the court order and the official's letter before Mr. Jayanna and the Chief Executive Officer, Rangegowda.

After going through the documents, Mr. Jayanna raised objections saying that the documents were “not original”. He then insisted that the official leave the meeting hall.

None of the efforts of Mr. Shankarappa to convince the panchayat president yielded any result.

Intervening in the matter, panchayat standing committee president for Health and Education Krishnamurthy accused the official of “building political pressure to get himself reinstated in service”.

Mr. Krishnamurthy alleged that with the help of MLC A.H. Shivayogiswamy, Mr. Shankarappa had got a resolution of the panchayat cancelled. Mr. Rangegowda said that he had received photocopies of the court order and the letter of the Chief Secretary through fax.

“In view of these documents, I cannot order Mr. Shankarappa to go on leave. If I did so, it will be violation of court order and it will amount to insubordination,” he said.

When Mr. Jayanna insisted that only original copies be produced, Mr. Rangegowda tried to convince him that the documents were all genuine.

Not convinced with the reply, Mr. Jayanna, who was adamant on seeing the original documents, decided to boycott the meeting.

Soon after his departure, several officials came to the defence of Mr. Rangegowda stating that he was only following the Government and court orders.

Later, addressing presspersons, Mr. Jayanna alleged that Mr. Rangegowda had tried to protect an “erring” official.

He expressed ire against Mr. Shankarappa for not bringing the matter of court order to his notice before attending the meeting.

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