Sr govt officer in SIT custody to recover IMA 'bribe'

L C Nagaraj

L C Nagaraj, the assistant commissioner of Bengaluru North who was arrested in the multi-crore IMA scam on Friday evening, has been sent to police custody until July 12. 

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) produced him before the Principal City Civil and Sessions Judge Shivashankar B Amarannavar on Saturday. C H Hanumantharaya, the defence counsel, opposed handing Nagaraj over to the SIT custody for 14 days and said his questioning could be completed in two or three days. 

Narayan Reddy, the public prosecutor, countered him and summarised the prosecution charge.

He said that Nagaraj was the competent authority entrusted with investigating the complaints filed against the IMA Group and submitting a report to the government. The assistant commissioner, however, struck a deal with IMA managing director Mohammed Mansoor Khan and promised to submit a report in his favour.

In February 2019, he absolved Khan by submitting a report which concealed the administrative lapses and the illegal schemes being run by the company, Reddy said. 

Noting that Nagaraj was a high-ranking official of the state government, Reddy accused him of taking a bribe of Rs 4.5 crore through accused number 16 in the case, a village accountant named Manjunath. “The money received as bribe belonged to the investors. Therefore, it is imperative to find out where it has been hidden. Moreover, Nagaraj’s properties have to be assessed, for which his 14-day custody is necessary,” Reddy argued. 

At the end of the arguments that began around 4 pm, Judge Amarannanavar remanded Nagaraj in the SIT custody for six days.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 12. 

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