Labour inspector caught on video sting accepting bribe

An organisation fighting corruption has petitioned the secretary of the labour department, seeking action against two former labour commissioners for attempting to save a ‘tainted’ labour inspector. File photo

An organisation fighting corruption has petitioned the secretary of the labour department, seeking action against two former labour commissioners for attempting to save a ‘tainted’ labour inspector.

The organisation – Lanchamukta Karnataka Nirmana Vedike – claimed that despite submitting an audiovisual recording of the concerned labour inspector, Jayalakshmi, demanding and accepting the bribe, two successive labour commissioners not only gave a clean chit to the inspector but, cleared her request for voluntary retirement as well.

“Our organisation had been receiving complaints against the labour department officials. In November 2015, one person approached the organisation stating that one of the labour inspectors in Wilson Garden was demanding bribe to process an online application for a labour license,’’ president of the organisation, V R Marathe said.

Labour department had introduced online filing and process of applications to reduce corrupt practices. However, some officials keep the applications pending.  

“Jayalakshmi, the official in question, did not process the application. She summoned the applicant in the guise of inspecting more documents. Thereafter, she demanded and accepted the bribe. We had taken the photo of the currencies with visible serial numbers. During the conversation, the officer also returned the very currencies and the serial numbers were recorded. We filed the complaint with the then labour commissioner, R R Jannu, in November 2015. However, no enquiry was initiated. Instead, the same day, the officer exposed in the sting operation filed an atrocity case against me. The police, meanwhile, looked at the video and closed the case against me,’’ he said.

The Vedike members say, though, labour commissioner, Jagadish, recommended an enquiry by a retired judge, the succeeding labour commissioner, Chaitra closed the matter without holding a proper enquiry.

“When we came to know that the officer in the video had been pressing for voluntary retirement, we requested the then commissioner, Chaitra, to withhold her retirement benefits. However, the commissioner closed the enquiry and gave a clean chit to the officer in question,’’ Marathe said.

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Labour inspector caught on video sting accepting bribe

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