The chief minister, who squarely blamed Deve Gowda for Gaonkar’s transfer, said the department will submit its report in a week. “We will announce our next step of action based on the outcome of the investigation. We will make our stand clear in a week’s time,” Sadananda Gowda told reporters in Bangalore when asked whether the government was contemplating initiating action against Deve Gowda.
The Janata Dal (Secular) leader is alleged to have made phone calls to Gaonkar, warning him of “dire consequences” if he continued with the inquiry into a case against his eldest son Balakrishne Gowda. Deve Gowda, who admitted speaking to Gaonkar over the phone, has denied that he intimidated the officer.
“It would have been embarrassing for the officer to continue in his post after the incident. The officer had also written to the chief secretary and ‘Lokayukta in charge’ about the incident,” the chief minister said.
The transfer has nothing to do with former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s release from jail. And there is no move to sabotage the probe against Yeddyurappa, the chief minister added.
Gaonkar told Deccan Herald that he had not requested for any transfer. “Whatever transpired on November 7 at 10:30 am between me and the former prime minister over the phone, I have written to the Lokayukta and a copy was marked to the chief secretary. I met the chief secretary on November 8 and handed over the letter to him. The content in the letter is quite clear,” he said.
The police officer then added: “It’s for the government to decide whether to shift me back to the post.”
On the appointment of H N Sathyanarayana Rao as new Lokayukta ADGP, Gowda said the government had sought a legal opinion from the advocate general who had cleared the officer’s name for the posting.
Rao was one of the officers pulled up by the Karnataka High Court for non-execution of warrants issued by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Sandur, against former minister G Janardhana Reddy for the alleged demolition of Sugalamma Devi temple in Bellary.
On the recent transfer of more than 200 police officers, Sadananda Gowda said it was a decision taken by the Police Establishment Board and the government had not interfered in the matter.
As many as 48 deputy superintendents of police (DySPs), 107 Inspectors and 73 sub-inspectors were transferred last week. Gowda said the transfers were based on vacancies available, promotions and also action taken based on the report of the Lokayukta on illegal mining.