Hublot watch burden off Siddaramaiah's head

Complainant says advocate general who probed the matter told ACB that the petition could be rejected.

Bengaluru: In what could come as a big blow for the opposition, the newly-created Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has rejected a complaint filed by a city-based advocate seeking a probe into the possession of an expensive Hublot wristwatch by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. This was the first case filed against the CM and the first to be rejected by the ACB.

Shocked over this, Mr Nataraj Sharma, the petitioner, told Deccan Chronicle that he came to know about the rejection of his application through the media and had not yet received an official communication from ACB officials.
“I did not know on what basis my application has been rejected. I will apply for all documents through the Right To Information (RTI) Act and file a case in the high court. How can they reject my petition when I had furnished all documents about Hublot, a costly watch possessed by Mr CM which he claimed, was a gift from his NRI friend?”

According to him, the state advocate general had reportedly probed the matter and said that the complaint could be rejected. “I will make the advocate general an accused and file a fresh case in court.” The decision comes as a big relief for the CM who had claimed that he got the expensive watch as a gift from his old NRI friend. The opposition parties stalled the House for three days which forced Mr Siddaramaiah to declare the watch a state asset and hand it over to Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa to display it in the Cabinet Hall.

It may be mentioned that Mr Sharma's complaint seeking a probe against the CM, had put the ACB in a fix whether to file a First Information Report (FIR) or not as permission of the Cabinet is required to initiate action against the CM. The ACB went by a high court order which had insisted on a preliminary inquiry of any complaint received against people in top places to find if it is genuine. Mr Sharma's application seeking an Enforcement Directorate (ED) inquiry into the Hublot watch row had been rejected by the high court asking the complainant to wait for three months.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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