Bengaluru: Legislative Assembly Secretary S. Murthy, who was facing several charges of corruption, has been suspended. Following a report by Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar that indicted Mr Murthy, Speaker Ramesh Kumar kept Mr Murthy under suspension.
After the legislature sessions in Belagavi in 2016 and 2017, there were allegations of misuse of funds allocated to the Legislative Assembly to hold sessions. The finance department released Rs 20 crore in 2016 and Rs 21 crore in 2017. But it was shown there were cost overruns of Rs 8 crore.
After the new legislature was set up in May this year, new Speaker Ramesh Kumar had ordered an inquiry into the charges of embezzlement of funds.
The allegation against Mr Murthy was that the quotations pertaining to civil works or any other works received by the legislature had no details pertaining to service tax and GST, while it paid the amount under the header of extra service tax. In 2017, it was shown that the legislature spent Rs 36 lakh on food, lodging, travel, entertainment and gifts for journalists, but no register was maintained. It was shown that all the doors and windows of Suvarna Soudha were polished with Melamine polish. But the PWD clarified that it had not given technical permission for this work and when the work was completed, the bills were not paid in the proper format. For painting the inside walls of Suvarna Soudha, the Public Works Department had not granted technical permission and the proper rules and procedures were not followed while selecting contractors. The legislature secretary was found guilty on several counts, including paying bills for levelling the ground around Suvarna Soudha and putting up makeshift toilets.
Following a report from the finance secretary, the chief secretary submitted the final report to the Speaker on December 12. The major observation was that Mr Murthy kept then Speaker K.B. Koliwad in the dark or misled him to get the approvals for the works and bills....