Lokayukta takes on deputy, sends bribe case to CCB

Lokayukta takes on deputy, sends bribe case to CCB

As the Lokayukta (City) police were closing in on Krishna Rao, who has been reportedly extorting money from public servants both at Lokayukta’s residence and office, Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao on Friday hurriedly handed over the case to Central Crime Branch (CCB). 

Interestingly, Justice Rao also handed over the investigation ordered by Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi in the absence of the latter, who is on an official visit to Udupi.

Justice Rao claimed that after SP Lokayukta (City) Sonia Narang submitted a report about the demand for bribe by Krishna Rao, adjacent to the Joint Commissioner (PRO)’s chamber, he had ordered an enquiry. 

Sonia Narang had submitted the report on May 11 and Justice Rao claimed to have ordered an enquiry by Inspector General of Police (Lokayukta) Pronab Mohanty on June 6, almost a month after the submission of the report.

“In the meantime, based on a complaint Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi directed SP Sonia Narang to conduct an investigation. In the above circumstances I have taken up a suo motu investigation by invoking Section 7 (1) (b) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act,” Justice Rao told a press conference here on Friday.

“In the light of these developments, it is felt that in the interest of natural justice and fair play, a probe be made into the issues by an outside agency having necessary technical competence. Hence, in exercise of powers under section 15 (3) of the Act, the matter is entrusted herewith for further enquiry and speedy report to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) CCB, Chandrashekar. A report in this regard shall be submitted to the Registrar of Lokayukta as expeditiously as possible,'' he added.

Justice Rao categorically ordered Lokayukta police not to entertain or enquire into any such complaint or any other, related to the matter. CCB is a specialised branch with the Bengaluru City Police which has wings such as Organised Crime Wing, Homicide and Burglary, Special Enquiries, Women and Narcotics and Fraud and Misappropriation. The CCB has not probed a single case under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act so far.

Sources said, after Justice Adi ordered an investigation by City SP Sonia Narang on June 23, Lokayukta Justice Rao held a meeting with both the Upa-lokayuktas and revealed for the first time that he had also ordered an enquiry. This order for enquiry by IGP Mohanty was  handwritten by Registrar H R Deshpande and backdated as June 9, but revealed to both the Upalokayuktas only on June 25. 

When asked why he was not recommending a CBI probe, Justice Rao said: “I don't have the powers to order CBI probe. Crime branch has the technical competence to investigate this matter.”

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