KARNATAKA

CMC to file defamation suit against citizens' federation

Calls for open discussion on the issues raised by them The federation staged a dharna on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner's office on Friday urging the Government to initiate action against some officials for their alleged corrupt practices

Special Correspondent

SHIMOGA: The differences between members of the City Municipal Council and those of the Shimoga Citizens' Welfare Forums' Federation has taken a curious turn with the former deciding to file a defamation suit against the office-bearers of the federation for levelling the charges of corruption against them.

A decision to this effect was taken unanimously at a meeting of the Council on Friday. The meeting also decided to invite the office-bearers of the federation for an open discussion on the issues of corruption raised by them.

It may be recalled that the office-bearers of the federation staged a dharna on the premises of the Deputy Commissioner's office here on Friday urging the Government to initiate disciplinary action against the Commissioner of the Council, K.M. Dharmappa, the Revenue Officer, Shivanna, and the Personal Assistant of the Commissioner, Ravikumar, for their alleged corrupt practices.

N.J. Rajasekhar who raised the issue at the meeting said members of the federation levelled allegations against the Commissioner even after the clarification issued by the Municipal President, B.A. Ramesh Hegde, that there was no substance in the allegations. He demanded that a discussion be held on the allegations made against the municipal officials, including the Commissioner.

N.K. Shamsundar said the competition for the posting of the officials to the Commissioner's post seemed to have prompted the members of the federation to make allegations against the Commissioner and other officials.

The former Municipal President, M.K. Sureshkumar, attributed the controversy to the irregularity in holding the monthly meetings to take timely decisions. He suggested that legal action be taken against those who levelled allegations against the municipal officials.

Most of the councillors were in favour of filing a defamation suit against the members of the federation.

They suggested that the complaints about corruption in the municipal office can be made to the Lokayukta, and termed the protest launched by the federation against the Commissioner as an attempt to malign him.

Reacting to the allegations made against him, Mr. Dharmappa said he had implemented the works in consonance with the decisions taken at the meetings. He denied the allegations made against him and said that he was prepared to face any inquiry.

Mr. Hegde criticised the members of the federation. He said a defamation suit would be filed against them for making false allegations against the municipal officials.

He said that the maintenance of streetlights was done by the MESCOM. He claimed that there were no irregularities in the implementation of works by the council.

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