Bengaluru

IMA case: HC deplores State’s attitude of not giving office space, powers to officer

The Special Officer and Competent Authority for IMA cases has also sought staff and approval of budget.

The Special Officer and Competent Authority for IMA cases has also sought staff and approval of budget.  

He has written many letters to Chief Secretary on the urgent needs of the newly created post

Deploring the attitude of the State government in not providing office space, required staff, and financial and administrative powers to the newly created post of Special Officer and Competent Authority (CA) for I Monetary Advisory (IMA) cases, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the Chief Secretary to look into the issue on priority.

“This is a very sorry state of affairs by the State government when the issue involved is related to lakhs of investors affected by the scam,” a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S. Kinagi said in its interim order on PIL petitions related to the IMA case.

Senior IAS officer Harsh Gupta, who is the Special Officer and CA for the IMA cases, in his affidavit had brought to the notice of the court that he had written to the Chief Secretary on February 12 reminding about the urgent need for an office space, staff, vehicles, approval of budget and release of amounts, grant of powers under the civil services, delegation of financial powers, and so on to the newly created post.

“The work of the competent authority, which has been hampered for the last few months owing to the above requirements, has now come to a standstill for the last many days as even basic infrastructure and delegation of powers of running an independent office have been lacking...,” Mr. Gupta had said in his third letter to the Chief Secretary.

The Bench directed the Chief Secretary to ensure that all these requirements of the office of the Special Officer and CA are met within a month, while cautioning that the court may have to take stringent action for failure to comply with the requirements.

Online validation

On steps taken to receive claims from IMA investors, Mr. Gupta said that the online claim application having features of real-time validation of Aadhaar number, mobile number, ration card number, and client ID with IMA has been developed and put up for feedback from the investors. A website — imaclaims.karnataka.gov.in — has been internationalised to provide information to depositors about the claim process and for collecting feedback, and a class centre and help desk (080-46885959) has also been operationalised, it has been said in Mr. Gupta’s affidavit.

Meanwhile, the Bench directed the Union government to ensure grant of permission for Aadhaar validation as it was pointed out in the affidavit that the State’s committee recommended to the Union government for Aadhaar validation four months ago and it may take about a month’s time as the ministry concerned was framing rules for granting permission.

CBI’s plea

The Bench also directed the State government to take a decision within a month on the requests of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for grant of sanction for prosecution of five police officer named in the CBI’s report and the then Assistant Commissioner of Bengaluru North taluk in the IMA case.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 4:14:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/ima-case-hc-deplores-states-attitude-of-not-giving-office-space-powers-to-officer/article30994126.ece

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