Lokayukta police raid on Kannada, Culture dept continues

Lokayukta police raid on Kannada, Culture dept continues

The Lokayukta police continued their investigation against the Department of Kannada and Culture and confiscate nearly 200 files on Thursday.

The Lokayukta police on Monday conducted raids on the office of the Commissioner of Kannada and Culture and other officials and had already confiscated files.

Based on the scrutiny of these files, the police retuned to the offices on Thursday.

Sources in the Lokayukta police said they recovered more details about misappropriation of funds given as grants to the department. Officials said the department received anywhere from Rs 100 crore to Rs 150 crore a year as grants and there was no proper accounting of how the money was utilised.

The police on Thursday recovered documents related to spending on various programmes like cultural festivals and birth anniversaries. “Most of these programmes had a set allocated budget.

We are looking into whether they spent more and what they spent it on. Amounts varying from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 30 lakh seem to have been released on recommendations of higher ups, and there is no evidence to prove that these were genuine grants,” an official commented.

The police have already detected files which indicate that several gold medals are missing. Files also showed that people who had embezzled Rs three lakh to Rs four lakh were let off with just a warning by the Department officials.

The Commissioner typically cannot sanction grants amounting to more than Rs 1 lakh. In many cases, it has been found that money has been indiscriminately released after obtaining permission from the higher ups to fictitious groups or cultural associations.

In some cases, officials are said to have spent the money themselves at district level. Interestingly, no audit report has been maintained by the department.  

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