Bengaluru

Land prices: Three Bengaluru Urban DCs arrested in the last decade

A file photo of Bengaluru. Most of the cases in which DCs have been arrested pertain to land cases from outskirts of Bengaluru — Anekal, Madappanahalli near Kempegowda International Airport, and Begur. 

A file photo of Bengaluru. Most of the cases in which DCs have been arrested pertain to land cases from outskirts of Bengaluru — Anekal, Madappanahalli near Kempegowda International Airport, and Begur.  | Photo Credit: Somashekar G R N

Former Bengaluru (Urban) Deputy Commissioner J. Manjunath, arrested over graft charges on Monday, is the third in the post to be arrested in the last decade. 

M.K. Aiyappa and B.M. Vijay Shankar were similarly arrested in 2013 and 2019 over graft charges. Before that, Special DC Ramanjaneya was arrested by the Lokayukta police in a trap case in 2010, but was discharged by the court for want of evidence in 2015. While Mr. Ramanjaneya quit service to fight his case, Mr. Vijay Shankar unfortunately ended his life. Several other tahsildars and ACs have also been arrested over the last decade. 

Except in the case of Mr. Vijay Shankar, who faced graft charges in the IMA scam, three other DCs faced allegations of corruption in land cases, indicating how skyrocketing land prices on the outskirts of the city have been a major source of corruption, a senior property consultant said. Most of the cases in which DCs have been arrested also pertain to land cases from the city’s outskirts — Anekal, Madappanahalli near Kempegowda International Airport and Begur. 

“No land-related services like DC conversion, podi, survey, change in RTC comes without paying a bribe. Officers openly demand a bribe saying given the cost of land is astronomically high the benefit we accrue from the service is high and it was only fair for them to demand a bribe. I have been asked for a bribe up to even ₹20 lakh,” said Suraj N. (name changed), who has been running around for the past two years to get his family’s farm transferred to his name after his father’s death. 

Sources in the government said that the very fact that most of the officers posted as DC, Bengaluru (Urban), in the capital of the State are Kannadigas, KAS officers promoted IAS officers, itself was an indication that political bosses want their men in the seat. “Given the stakes are high, the risks are also high. Those who come to this posting are also prepared and willing to handle the pressure,” a senior IAS officer formerly with the Revenue Department said. 

See what was found during ACB raid on officials in Karnataka in November 2021
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) launched simultaneous search operations at 68 locations across Karnataka, on November 24, 2021.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 5:34:35 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/three-bengaluru-urban-dcs-arrested-in-the-last-decade/article65603697.ece