'Retired judge to probe into misuse of funds'


Addressing media persons on Wednesday, he said that the fresh investigation is expected to begin soon.

“The officials of the Kannada and Culture Department had tried to close the case through delaying the process. Though over 70 memoranda were submitted to the concerned since 2007, no action has been taken so far. In this backdrop, a PIL was filed against the Department in the High Court, besides complaining to the Governor and the Chief Minister.

As a result, the Department has decided to appoint retired judge M G Hiremath to conduct the probe,” he said.

A sum of Rs 1.5 crore has been misappropriated in the Academy in between 2005 and 2008 through various ways such as preparing duplicate vouchers, tampering receipts, drawing money without a specific purpose, collecting donations from the public and not depositing the same in the official account, collecting money through lottery illegally, and collecting advertisements in the name of souvenir, etc., Kariappa alleged.

The amount includes Rs 61.50 lakh from the government, Rs 50 lakh from the donors and Rs 50 lakh from the sale of books and advertisement space, he added. Chargesheets have been filed against M Muniraju, V Thara Saraswathi and K Damodar who were the Academy registrars in the said period. Besides, the Department has taken steps to retrieve Rs 1,84,246 from different former registrars in whose period (past 12 years) several misappropriations took place, he said.

“This is a great tragedy of Kodagu, its language, culture and literature. In this backdrop, all the litterateurs, artistes and those who were deceived by the Academy should cooperate with the retired judge who will soon be conducting the investigation,” he appealed.

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