The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has filed a complaint against six retired government officials over a fraudulent transaction of Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) that purportedly benefited a real-estate developer. The individuals have been accused of criminal breach of trust and cheating, resulting in losses to the state exchequer.
Among the accused are retired executive engineer Ramegowda D, retired joint commissioner Devaraj KS, retired assistant joint commissioner Umanand Rai, retired assistant tahsildar Gangegowda MA, retired surveyor Gullappa, and retired village accountant Agasemani.
Although the alleged fraud occurred in 2015, an FIR was registered recently following a court case related to the issue. The TDR refers to the scheme initiated by the BBMP to issue Development Right Certificates (DRCs) to property owners in exchange for the land handed over to the civic agency for development works such as roads. The DRCs can be used either by owners during construction in alternate sites or could be sold to real-estate developers.
In 2015, the officials involved in the case issued DRCs for 1,116 square metres in exchange for developmental works carried out by the BBMP in 57 square metre property and a building built on it at KR Puram Hobli, which falls under the Mahadevapura zone of the BBMP. However, based on the guidance value of the said property, officials could have issued DRCs for 221 square metres.
The owner of the property DK Venugopal sold the DRCs to a private developer. When the developer submitted the DRC for revalidation to the Mahadevapura zonal office, it was found that the original documents based on which the DRC was issued were missing at the office. A missing case was also filed in connection with the issue in 2020.
The complaint filed by the BBMP earlier this week at the Halsurgate Police Station alleged that the officials involved violated established norms and issued DRCs for “personal gain”.
Notably, the TDR scheme of the BBMP is mired in controversy and several irregularities have been reported in the past. The now-defunct Anti-Corruption Bureau had unearthed a massive scam in the scheme that will now be probed by Karnataka Lokayukta.