Karnataka govt orders CBI probe into lottery scam

Karnataka govt orders CBI probe into lottery scam

Three days after suspending a top IPS officer for his alleged involvement in the illegal lottery scam, Karnataka government today decided to hand over the case to CBI for investigation.

"We have decided to hand over the case to CBI. Let them investigate and give us a report. Based on the report they submit we will take action," Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

The announcement came as the Opposition BJP and JDS mounted pressure on the government to hand over the multi- crore scam to CBI for a fair and transparent probe to bring out alleged involvement of senior officials and politicians.

Alok Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (West- Bengaluru), was on Saturday suspended as he personally knew Pari Rajan, said to be the kingpin in the scam, and also had allegedly interfered in the investigation process.

Criminal Investigation Department is currently probing the case, and had submitted a interim report to the state government on the basis of which Kumar was suspended.
Noting that the procedures would be completed tomorrow, Siddaramaiah said, "CBI can investigate either prior to 2007 or after 2007, we are not going to restrict them."

Hitting out at the Opposition for casting aspersions on the government, he said, "We are legally, morally within the bounds of law... within the bounds of moral values."

He said, "Do we have to learn lessons on corruption from them (Opposition)? We have handed over the case to CBI, let all the names linked to the scam come out, whether it is politicians or officials or if anyone associated with Rajan. Let everything come out."

Suspending Kumar, the state government had said he had an illegal contact with Rajan, and he not only helped him, but also interfered in the investigation process.

The action was taken on the basis of a recommendation by the DGP, who said it was unbecoming of a senior officer to assist in illegal activities of the accused.

Siddaramaiah, who had held a meeting of senior police officials earlier this month, had ordered a CID probe into the alleged scam. He had also said that government would take strict action against those involved in the scam.

Government had earlier suspended Dharanesh, Superintendent of Police (Lottery Squad) in connection with the case.

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