Sunday, August 29, 2004

Jerome to sue Gowda for defamation

Jerome to take on Gowda legally

The former chief of the BDA feels that the JD(S) supremo has in his letter indulged in “defamation of the worst kind”.

Senior IAS officer Jayakar Jerome has decided to wage a legal battle against former prime minister and JD(S) President H D Deve Gowda for his “allegations” against Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) during Mr Jerome’s tenure as commissioner.

Secretariat sources said that Mr Jerome, now serving as Secretary, Minorities Welfare Department, had written to Chief Secretary K K Misra seeking permission to prosecute Mr Gowda “in appropriate criminal and civil courts”.

In his August 16 letter, Mr Jerome said: “I have functioned as the Commissioner of BDA from October 25, 1999 to July 28, 2004. The turnaround of the BDA during this period has not only been written about extensively but is there for all to see and experience. Notwithstanding all this, it is most unfortunate that I have by name been singled out for defamation of the worst kind.

“For more than ten days now, the electronic media and the print media, both English and the vernacular, have extensively reported on the contents of the 29-page letter of Mr Gowda addressed to Chief Minister N Dharam Singh. In this letter, very serious allegations have been made against me personally during my tenure as the BDA Commissioner. Mr Gowda has made allegations that I looted crores of rupees... was guilty of misappropriation... flouted rules and regulations... had underhand dealings.”

Mr Jerome said silence on his part would “give rise to suspicion of” his integrity and character.

“Therefore, I have no option but to vindicate myself. In the present circumstances, this can only be done in a court of law. I therefore request permission of the government under Rule 17 of the All-India Service Conduct Rules to prosecute Mr Gowda in appropriate criminal and civil courts,” he said in his letter.

Interestingly, former chief minister S M Krishna in his letter to Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, had given a comparative performance of the BDA during his tenure. Mr Krishna had said Mr Gowda’s 29-page letter to Mr Singh contained “wild and baseless allegations”.


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