Lokayukta SP's transfer takes a murky twist

CMs order should be placed before Police Establishment Board

The transfer of City Lokayukta Superintendent of Police (SP) P K Shivashankar, in the wake of a recent complaint and allegations against him, has turned murkier.

On October 17, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar ordered that Shivashankar be transferred and posted as SP, State Intelligence. Following this, the Home department wrote to the office of the Director General and Inspector General of Police stating that the proposal should be placed before the Police Establishment Board.

Though all transfers are supposedly made through the Police Establishment Board, a letter from the Chief Minister’s Office assumes significance as the SP himself, who handles several high-profile investigations involving former chief ministers and other politicians, faces a probe by the Lokayukta police.

On October 22, the Additional Director General of Police (Administration) J V Gaonkar wrote to H N Sathyanarayana Rao, the Assistant Director General of Police, Lokayukta, seeking his opinion on Shivashankar’s transfer.

A senior official in the police department said that it was a normal procedure to seek the opinion of the ADGP of Lokayukta when someone is posted or relieved from his/her post at the Lokayukta. No response has, however, been received from the ADGP till now.

Rao said a similar letter had been sent from Home department to the Lokayukta Registrar and since the Registrar had replied to that letter, no response would be sent to Gaonkar’s office. “We have already responded. Now, action is required at their (Home department) level,” Rao said.

Lokayukta Registrar B Yoginath said the letter from the Home department did not state any reason for the transfer of Shivashankar. “There is no prima facie material against him. None of the charges against him has been established. There should be congent reasons for the transfer; otherwise, the officers will be demoralised,” he said.

Though he maintained that it was the discretion of the ADGP to decide on the officers who work in the Lokayukta, Yoginath insisted it was not right to send Shivashankar out
merely based on complaints and allegations.

Stating that they were not against the transfer, Yoginath said, “An allegation remains an allegation unless it is proved in the court of law. If that is the case, then we will be the first ones to send him out.”

This seems to a be strange line coming from the Registrar, as the police have been quick to repatriate SPs posted to other districts, DySPs, inspectors and constables at the slightest whiff of a complaint. None of the allegations against these people has ever been proved in a court of law.

A complaint filed in the Special Lokayukta Court against the SP for leaking information about a complaint has been referred to the Lokayukta police for investigation. Recently, Shivashankar was also alleged to have met B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra in Shimoga. Raghavendra has several cases pending before the Lokayukta court, including one pertaining to disproportionate assets.

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