HC refuses to quash corruption case against sacked bureaucrat in BMRCL fund misuse case

Petition filed by Sandeep Dash dismissed

Published - August 29, 2022 09:08 pm IST - Bengaluru

The High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka has declined to quash criminal proceedings initiated against Sandeep Dash, a sacked bureaucrat, for allegedly diverting ₹30 crore fund of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), investing it in mutual funds and making personal gain out of it when he was BMRCL’s executive director (Finance) during 2005-07.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by Mr. Dash, who was an officer of the Indian Civil Accounts Services (ICAS) and terminated from the government service in 2016.

The proceeding was initiated against him in 2014 based on a complaint filed by the BMRCL and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in 2017 filed the chargesheet against him and R.K. Ravishankar, then company secretary and general manager (Finance) of the BMRCL.

However, the CID had dropped the names of M.N Seshappa, then member (Finance), and C. Vasanthkumar, then treasury officer of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) from the chargesheet as they were named as accused persons in a separate chargesheet related to the BDA’s scam in which Mr. Dash is the prime accused.

Mr. Dash had said that since he was named as an accused in the BDA case, his name should also have been dropped like the two others. The petitioner had only sought parity with benefit given to the other two accused and had not contested the chargesheet on merit.

However, the court said that allegations against the petitioner were different in the BDA and the BMRCL cases unlike the two other accused persons, whose names were dropped from the BMRCL case at the time of filling the chargesheet.

The court also noted that the CID had noted that the illegal acts of the other two accused persons in the BMRCL case were covered in the BDA case as they had diverted ₹3 crore of the BDA to assist Mr. Dash in the BMRCL case and they could not be prosecuted twice for the same offence.

The concept of double jeopardy under Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India would become applicable only if the offences are the same in the two proceedings, the court said while rejecting Mr. Dash’s petition.

In the BDA case, Mr. Dash is accused of illegally diverting a total ₹2,139 crore of the authority’s funds to mutual funds and earning personal gain of several crores of rupees when he was serving as member (Finance), BDA, during 1999-2005.

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