Two Bengaluru-based staff of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board were taken in custody on Tuesday by the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Karnataka for allegedly accepting bribes for clearing an industrial effluent plant in Dasarahalli. The accused have been identified as Environmental Officer Shivakumar and Deputy Environmental Officer Somasekhar.
A KPSCB official said both of them were deputed to the Dasarahalli region and were working out of the KSPCB office in Peenya. ‚ÄúThe two officials were arrested yesterday as they illegally demanded money to give NOC (no objection certificate) with regards to the water treatment plant. The officers had demanded Rs 50,000 but they were caught red handed with Rs 25,000 that the complainant had given them,‚ÄĚ Kuldeep Kumar, Superintendent of Police, ACB told TNM.
‚ÄúThe complainant had come to us two days back and said that bribes are being asked for official routine work. We registered an FIR based on the complaint. Then yesterday we carried out the raid and caught the accused. We have other government witnesses and other audio evidence,‚ÄĚ he added.
An ACB official said that this is the first such action taken by them against KSPCB officials in a long time.
The arrest of these two KSPCB officials come nearly a month after the ACB had conducted search operations at five residences belonging to Karnataka Administrative Service officer and administrator of the Information Technology and Biotechnology Department, Dr B Sudha. Notably Dr Sudha was earlier posted in the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and ACB officials suspected that she amassed illegal wealth through bribes settling various land acquisition deals. At that time, the sleuths had seized huge quantities of cash, gold and a car among other things for further probe. Earlier in September, the ACB had arrested Bengaluru South Tahsildar and two other officers for allegedly taking bribes of Rs 7 lakh.