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Can't hand over Lokayukta graft case to CBI: Siddaramaiah

Can't hand over Lokayukta graft case to CBI: Siddaramaiah

Rejecting the demand by social activists to hand over the corruption case against some Lokayukta officers to CBI, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said government does not have powers to do so as the institution is an independent anti-corruption body.

"The government does not have any powers to hand over the matter to CBI since Lokayukta is an independent body," he told reporters here.

Social activists had sought a CBI probe against some Lokayukta officials for alleged corruption.

Amid allegations that one of its officials had demanded Rs one crore bribe, the Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao, a former Chief Justice of the state High Court, transferred all the cases to the Central Crime Branch.

Initially, the Lokayukta had ordered an internal probe into the graft charges.
However, social activists, unhappy with the probe, demanded Rao's resignation alleging that his relatives were also involved in corruption. However, Rao dismissed charges that his relatives were involved in graft.

Meanwhile, Lokayukta has decided to request the government to appoint any other independent agency to conduct the probe into the alleged corruption after Joint Commissioner (Crime) and CCB head M Chandra Shekar requested it to reconsider the decision to probe the case.

Shekar, in a letter, requested reconsideration of directions given to him by Lokayukta to initiate probe.

"The honourable Lokayukta has decided to request the Government of Karnataka to appoint any other independent agency to conduct enquiry into the above said allegations (of corruption charges against some of our officers)," Lokayukta said in a statement here.

The matter came to light recently after Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang wrote a letter to the Registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta, about the complaint she received from a person who alleged that someone from the Lokayukta office demanded Rs 1 crore in bribe to avoid a raid.  

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