Govt reinstates corrupt officer within 3 months

Hyderabad: One of the big fishes trapped by the sleuths of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) last year is back in business. K Harshavardhan, arrested by the ACB and suspended by the State Government, has been reinstated within just three months.

Harshavardhan, who was then working as Urban Land Ceiling Special Officer, was trapped by the ACB just a day before conferment of IAS on him on November 12 last year.

The government issued orders on March 3 posting him as the assistant state commissioner in the office of the Director of Small Savings in Hyderabad in the existing vacancy.

Interestingly, Harsharvardhan joined the services in his previous cadre of Special Grade Deputy Collector on Feb 17 itself.

The ACB conducted simultaneous raids on his office and residences in Hyderabad, Guntur and Eluru, and unearthed assets worth more than Rs 8 crore that were disproportionate to the known sources of his income. He was arrested and produced before the Special Judge for ACB cases in Hyderabad.

Among the assets found by the ACB were one bungalow and five residential flats in Hyderabad, 32 acres of agricultural land at T Narsapuram in East Godavari district, three acres of land in Salem district of Tamil Nadu and one acre at Bommalaramaram in Ranga Reddy district. He also owns four house-sites in Hyderabad, gold ornaments weighing 80 tolas, household goods valued at Rs 9 lakh, a Hyundai car and a scooter apart from other properties stashed in bank lockers.

When contacted, ACB Additional Director Shika Goel who supervised the raids, told Express that the ACB was not aware of Harshavardhan’s reinstatement. However, she assured that the case against Harshavardhan was still under investigation.

“There is no hard and fast rule that the State Government should not reinstate an officer against whom an ACB case is pending.

However, we will take up the matter with the higher authorities for consideration as the accused has been produced in the court and the case is under investigation,’’ she said.

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