Sudhamanagar corporator lands in Lokayukta net
Avvayi trapped while accepting Rs 15,000 bribe from eatery owner
Having trapped two corporators previously, both of whom have received bail from the High Court, the Lokayukta police on Tuesday laid a successful trap for Congress corporator from Sudhamanagar, Kumari Avvayi.
Based on a complaint from Channegowda of Ujjani village in Tumkur district, who was running a small vegetarian hotel in Kalasipalya, Avvayi was trapped receiving the sum at 12 noon at her ward office in Kalasipalya. She has been remanded in judicial custody till Wednesday.
Channegowda said in his complaint that Avvayi collected a ‘mamool’ of Rs 500 from him every month.
Reason: He did not have a trade licence to set up the hotel in Kalasipalya. The ‘mamool’ was paid diligently by the complainant for the past three years. It is said Avvayi herself would sometimes come to his hotel to collect the bribe.
On Monday morning, Avvayi allegedly came to his hotel and demanded that he pay a lumpsum bribe of Rs 35,000 for the entire year as she could not come every month for the paltry sum of Rs 500. Channegowda had not paid the ‘mamool’ of Rs 500 for November.
He said his business was not large enough to pay such a huge bribe, but Avvayi allegedly insisted that he pay the sum.
The trader recorded the conversation between himself and Avvayi, before lodging a complaint with the Lokayukta police.
During Channegowda’s meeting with Avvayi, he negotiated and brought down the amount to Rs 20,000. According to Lokayukta sources, the police had kept a watch on Avvayi’s office all through Monday evening.
“We could not trap her on Monday, as she did not come to her office. Finally, the complainant managed to set a time on Tuesday for the trap to be laid,” said a Lokayukta police official.
A team led by DySP Dr Ashwini caught Avvayi, while she was taking the first instalment of Rs 15,000, and arrested her. A case has been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Speculations are rife in the Lokayukta over the extent of gratification which Avvayi might have been receiving over the past three years from Kalasipalya, where the number of illegal traders is quite large. “She must be earning lakhs every month, considering the number of traders in the vicinity,” said a senior Lokayukta official.
Seeks time to put on make-up
Unperturbed by her being trapped and arrested for seeking and receiving illegal gratification, Avvayi, it was claimed, asked for time from the Lokayukta police to put on make-up before being produced at the magistrate’s house.
According to Lokayukta police sources, Avvayi claimed to have ‘ruined’ her make-up, when she cried after the arrest. “When she was asked to accompany the police to the magistrate’s house from the police station, she sought time to put on make-up,” said a Lokayukta officer.