Decide on returning money spent by IMA Group on government school: HC

The scam-tainted group had spent ₹12.82 crore on development of the school

Published - April 18, 2021 08:03 am IST

The State government on Saturday found itself in an embarrassing situation with the High Court of Karnataka directing it to take a decision on returning ₹12.82 crore that the scam-tainted IMA Group spent for redevelopment and maintenance of V.K. Obaidullah Government School in Shivajinagar.

On former Minister’s property

The court also directed the government to reconsider its decision on attaching the properties of former Minister R. Roshan Baig while pointing out that there is no need for the government to wait for the investigation report from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as law empowers the authorities to attach properties based on other relevant materials.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj issued the directions after perusing the report of IAS officer Harsh Gupta, Special Officer and Competent Authority under the Karnataka Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishment (KPIDFE) Act, 2004 for IMA and other scams.

The report, citing the March 5, 2021 communication from the CBI, had pointed out that IMA had adopted the school, and had built a four-storey building at a cost of ₹10 crore apart from spending an additional ₹2.82 crore for overall maintenance of the school during 2017-19 after entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Public Instruction.

The bench noted that the MoU was signed after IMA Group founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan’s written communication with R. Roshan Baig, the then Minister for Infrastructure and Haj.

Mr. Gupta had on April 9, 2021 written to the government to take a decision on attaching the school building under the KPIDEF Act as IMA Group or release ₹12.82 crore to the competent authority as money should be returned to depositors of IMA Group.

The bench said that prima facie it was of the view that money of depositors could not have been diverted by the IMA Group for adopting the government school.

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