Scribe falls into Lokayukta net

Scribe falls into Lokayukta net

The Lokayukta police trapped a journalist while accepting a bribe of Rs 45,000 from an official of the Department of Legal Metrology (Weights and Measures) in Rajajinagar on Friday.

Saifulla, the editor of ‘Vismaya,’ a Kannada weekly, was arrested from Sagar Hotel in Majestic area. He was later handed over to the Cottonpet police who registered an FIR against him. The complainant, K Pushpavathi, a manual assistant, approached the Lokayukta police after Saifulla demanded money from her.

She alleged that Saifulla had obtained information under the RTI about her work and had lodged a complaint about an irregularity. But a departmental inquiry exonerated her.

Undeterred, Saifulla reapplied under RTI seeking to know why no action had been taken against her. He also approached Pushpavathi’s superior, who advised Pushpavathi to pay money, so that Saifulla would stop harassing her.

Saifulla initially demanded Rs one lakh and later scaled his demand down to Rs 45,000. The officials in the department have also complained that they were being harassed by Saifulla and other journalists, who threatened them saying that the officials have made a lot of money and they wanted a share of it.

Since the Lokayukta police is not empowered to handle cases where the bribe is demanded by a private person, the Cottonpet police have registered the case under Section 384 of the IPC for extortion.

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