Raid on 'tainted' official's locker yields riches

Lokayukta police who had raided the home and properties of Vijayanama Maraling Chour, the chief finance officer of the Bijapur Zilla Panchayat on November 7, on charges that he had earned property disproportionate to his known sources of income, continued their raids on Tuesday.

The Lokayukta police had not opened Chour’s bank locker in Allahabad Bank, during the earlier raid. On Monday,  however, they raided the locker, which had been opened under a fradulent name. The accused had obtained the locker in the name of Vithal Mallappa Choudhari.

Inside, Lokayukta police found Rs 30 lakh cash and gold ornaments weighing 125 gm. They also found bank pass books. Further probes are expected. “Investigations are in full swing,” said Lokayukta Superintendent of Police D S Jagamayyanavar.

Misuse of power

Chour is originally from Sindhagi taluk of the district. He had joined government service as a second division clerk in 1977 and had served at various locations, including Bijapur, Belgaum, Hassan, Bagalkot and other places. 

During the earlier raid, the Lokayukta police had found that the accused had procured lands and residential plots in the name of his wife Sumangaladevi and sons, Suresh and Girish, at Mahalabagayat in Bijapur and Gugadaddi and Aliabad  villages.

He had also purchased two Hyundai cars in the names of his sons. During the raid, 1.5 kg of gold, four kg of silver and Rs 10 lakh in cash were found in his house.

Sumangaladevi had fixed deposits of Rs 25.63 lakh and Rs 6.27 lakh in Axis Bank.

Chour had fixed deposits of Rs 43.51 lakh and Rs six lakh in Allahabad Bank. “The total property of the accused was estimated to be Rs 2.05 crore, “said Jagamayyanavar.

The Lokayukta had registered a case under Section 13(1)(E) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against the accused.

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