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Lokayukta to leave probe to govt

Lokayukta to leave probe to govt

Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao on Sunday decided to request the State government to appoint an independent agency to probe the allegation of demand for bribe from Bengaluru Urban Zilla Panchayat executive engineer Krishnamurthy by some people at the Lokayukta office.

Justice Rao had on Friday entrusted the investigation to Bengaluru City’s Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) M Chandrashekar, who also heads the CCB. However, Chandrashekar on Saturday wrote to the Lokayukta to reconsider the decision citing some reasons.

Subsequently, Justice Rao has decided to request the State government to appoint any independent agency to probe the matter, an official release from the Lokayukta said.

The decision comes following opposition to a CCB probe from civil society and various quarters. Upa Lokayukta Subhash B Adi had also said that only a CBI probe was appropriate.

Though the release from the Lokayukta did not mention the reasons cited by Chandrashekar, it is said that the IPS officer decided not to take up the probe to ensure that there is no conflict of interest.

According to sources, in 2010, the Lokayukta police had arrested Chandrashekar’s father-in-law, who was then special deputy commissioner in Bengaluru, on charges of accepting a bribe of Rs 50,000 for land conversion.

The Lokayukta police are yet to file a charge sheet in the case. Thus, to avoid any conflict of interest, Chandrashekar decided not to probe the case, sources added.

The Lokayukta had ordered a probe by the CCB following a report by Sonia Narang, Superintendent of Police (City), Lokayukta. The report stated that the staff had demanded Rs 1 crore from the executive engineer inside a hall right next to the chamber of the Lokayukta and threatened to raid him if he fails to pay the money.

The incident of demand for bribe took place on the second floor of the Lokayukta office on May 5. Narang’s report states that the executive engineer had received messages on his mobile number asking him to call the sender of the message.

“When he called up that number, a person, who identified himself as Krishna Rao, told him that Joint Commissioner, Lokayukta, has asked him to come to the Lokayukta office,” said the report.

“When he asked about the reason, he was told that there were complaints against him. He asked (executive engineer) to come to the Lokayukta office on May 5, 2015,” it added.
Narang, in her report, has stated that the matter needed to be thoroughly investigated into since the mobile numbers and other details were available.

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