Syed Riyaz is tight-lipped about Lokayukta scam, SIT tells court

Syed Riyaz is tight-lipped about Lokayukta scam, SIT tells court

 Syed Riyaz, the suspended Joint Commissioner (PRO) of Lokayukta, refused to co-operate with the investigation into the case of corruption and extortion in the anti-graft watchdog, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) told a court here on Wednesday.

The SIT’s Chief Investigating Officer, Labhu Ram, told the Lokayukta special court that since Riyaz “consistently showed non-cooperation”, he was given a book to write whatever he wanted to say about his involvement in the extortion racket.

SIT sleuths produced Riyaz before the Lokayukta special court as his custody ended on Wednesday. The SIT moved an application for extension of his police custody, saying it needed to extract more information from him.

The Special Public prosecutor, K Janardhan, told the court that extension of police custody would help discover more facts about the cases of extortion.

Riyaz’s counsel Hashmath Pasha objected, saying that his client had already given a statement and that he had nothing more to disclose voluntarily. Pasha also filed a memo stating that Riyaz was subjected to “inhuman” treatment during his nine-day police custody.

Voluntary statement

“The voluntary statement given by Riyaz has not led to recovery of any incriminating documents or evidence. Moreover, further interrogation without extension of police custody has not been made out,” Pasha argued.

When the judge asked Riyaz if he was tortured in police custody, he said he was “harassed and ill-treated”.

“I have written a 22-page diary in the last nine days. I have explained in detail what
transpired during my police custody. The police snatched
it from me before taking me to the court this morning,” he claimed.

At this juncture, Ram insisted that Riyaz had not co-operated with the investigation and thus a notebook was given to him to write if he wanted to share information. Ram also said the notebook was with the SIT and would be produced if the court asked for it.
The SPP said Riyaz tried to defend himself before the court during his custody, instead of co-operating with the investigation. “There was no ill-treatment during the custody. Riyaz himself was a police officer and knows what is ill-treatment,” he said.

In judicial custody

The judge turned down the SIT’s application for Riyaz’s police custody and remanded him in judicial custody till August 14, but gave the investigators the liberty to interrogate him in prison after obtaining the court’s permission.

The judge also directed the prison authorities to provide medical treatment to Riyaz.

Bail order on August 14

The order on the bail application filed by Riyaz will be pronounced on August 14. On Wednesday, the court heard arguments in the bail application. Senior counsel Hashmath Pasha contended that as a PRO, Riyaz had to oblige Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao as well as his son Y Ashwin.

“He (Riyaz) has to book tickets for Lokayukta and his son and sometimes receive his son on the instructions of his superior. He (Riyaz) cannot ask Ashwin to get out when he sits in the conference room. His name was not there in the FIR and the SIT arrested him only because he is the only public servant in the case which has offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” Pasha argued.

Countering this, the SPP, Janardhan, said that Riyaz had already destroyed the evidence through two other suspects Ashok Kumar and Shankare Gowda. “The complainant (Krishnamurthy) repeatedly stated that he was scared to file the complaint. The investigation is in initial stages and it would not be proper to grant bail to the suspect,” he said.

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