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Bangalore calling

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Posted On Sunday, April 29, 2007

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Usman Merchant

Pay up, or we’ll take your furniture

With the judiciary taking the activist route to deliver justice to the common man, senior bureaucrats now fear losing not only their chairs, but tables, fans and whatever else that adorns their plush offices.

A city court — while ordering the state to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to a woman whose land was acquired 30 years ago — has warned that if the dues are not settled by June 12, the rotating chair in the Chief Secretary’s office, along with the table, fan and other furniture will be attached to make good the amount due.

Senior citizen Susheelamma had to part with five acres of her land, acquired by the government in 1976, for setting up of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. She was entitled to a compensation of Rs 30,000, which till date has not been paid. After adding the interest accrued over these years, the compensation amount is now in the region of Rs 5 lakh.

A company without employees

The Right to Information Act is one law that bureaucrats are not quite comfortable with, as they prefer to have all files tangled in red tape.

So, it came as a major surprise when one of the babus in Bangalore sought to invoke the very act which is anathema to his ilk.

The bureaucrat is IAS officer M N Vijayakumar, who has been made managing director of Mysore Lamps, a loss making PSU which the state is in the process of winding up. The Mysore Lamps’ factory has been shut down, the workers are sitting at home as there is no activity and Vijayakumar has no supporting staff or even an official car.

At the time of posting, his terms of deputation were not specified and quires to this effect drew a blank from the commerce and industries department.

With no work on hand, the IAS officer has filed an application before the State Information Commission under the RTI Act seeking to learn from the state what it wants him to do with a company which has no employees nor a future.

Your Neighbourhood thieving Spider-man

Spider-man’s evil twin was nabbed by the Bangalore police for pulling off a series of high-rise thefts.

Gopal, a 22-year-old student, has a knack for climbing buildings without ropes or ladders. The young man had managed to make off with valuables — such as computers, cell phones, electronic gadgets and jewellery — worth Rs 8 lakh by scaling apartments, before he fell into the police’s web.

Gopal later told the police that high-rise thieves have it easy as people who stay on top floors rarely brother securing their balconies. A true Spidey fan, Gopal even had a Spider-man screensaver on his cell phone

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