Missing medals case: Charge sheet against Manu Baligar, 3 others

The Lokayukta police have filed a charge sheet against retired commissioner of the Department of Kannada and Culture Manu Baligar, retired joint director K T Chikkanna, manager S I Bavikatti and first division assistant Shivaprakash, in connection with the case of missing gold medals meant to be presented to Rajyotsava awardees and use of substandard gold in manufacturing the medals.

The police, who probed two cases of missing gold medals and financial irregularities, submitted the charge sheet with regard to the medals case to Lokayukta special court judge N K Sudhindra Rao.

The investigation into financial irregularities is in progress.According to the probe, five of the 25 missing gold medals have remained untraced and low quality of gold was used in making of the medals.

On a tip-off, the Lokayukta sleuths raided the offices of the commissioner and the director of the Department of Kannada and Culture in June 2013, where they found the medals and citations to be presented to the awardees who were absent for the award presentation ceremony.

A total of 25 of the awardees could not attend the event, while during the investigation, only two medals were found. The Department officials handed over only 18 medals to the Lokayukta police, after the search was intensified. They had also claimed that the medals were found in another office.

Twenty-two carat gold should be used in making of the medals, while the sleuths, on verification, found that the medals had in them only 72 per cent gold. The police have recommended interrogation of Baligar and Chikkanna in connection with the case and sought the government sanction to prosecute Bavikatti and Shivaprakash. 

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