The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday accorded permission to the Lokayukta to prosecute an IAS officer in a case involving illegal sale of land under the ceiling rate in Ujjain.
SPE, Lokayukta, IG Ashok Awasthi said, “The state government has sanctioned the proposal for prosecution of Thete. Now, the proposal will go to the central government for the same.”
MP Lokayukta’s special police establishment (SPE) had approached the government seeking sanction of proposal to prosecute Ramesh Thete, an IAS officer from the 1993 batch, in connection with 26 cases registered against him by special establishment of police (SPE) Lokayukta, under sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
In 2013, the cases were registered against Thete with tehlisdar Aditya Sharma and patwari Aadarsh Jamgade for illegally disposing different pieces of land acquired by the government in between 1980 and 1990 to private parties. The officer, however, allegedly re-opened the ceiling and allotted the land to private owners which incurred loss of crores of rupees to the state government.
The accused alleged that he was being victimized because he belonged to a schedule caste. “The officers from upper castes are harassing me,” he told media, adding that Lokayukta PP Naolekar was a Brahmin, as was the then Ujjain commissioner SK Vashishtha, IAS, who has not been booked in the case even though all decisions were taken with his approval.
SPE, Lokayukta, had in 2002 caught him red-handed while accepting a bribe of `1 lakh from the principal of a private institute. Following these charges, he had been dismissed from the IAS but he moved to the Supreme Court, which reinstated him in service.