SIT sleuths get three days to grill DC in IMA scam

B M Vijay Shankar

B M Vijay Shankar, the Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner arrested in the IMA scam on Monday, has been remanded in police custody for three days. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) also searched his office and residence. 

Shankar is accused of taking a bribe of Rs 1.5 crore to approve the report submitted by Assistant Commissioner (Bengaluru North) L C Nagaraj, the “competent authority” tasked with probing financial irregularities committed by the so-called Halal investment company. The report did not find fault with IMA’s financial dealings. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had sought a report from the Karnataka government about the functioning of investment companies such as IMA. 

The deputy commissioner is the third government servant to be arrested over the scam that came to light on June 10, two days before the company’s founder, Mohammed Mansoor Khan, went missing. Previously, Nagaraj and a village accountant named Manjunath were arrested. 

On Tuesday, Shankar was produced before Principal City Civil and Sessions judge Shivashankar B Amarannavar. 

Senior counsel Y R Sadashiva Reddy, appearing for Shankar, argued that his client was not connected to the scam as no investor who had lost money complained against him. Another lawyer N Lakshminarayan questioned the suitability of the SIT probe and requested that the report submitted by Shankar be sent to the central government for appropriate action. 

M Narayan Reddy, the special public prosecutor, countered these arguments, stressing that prima facie it was clear Shankar had taken the bribe. “The money belongs to the investors and must be recovered,” he said, seeking the IAS officer’s custody until June 15. 

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