RTI activist, journo held for extorting money from BBMP engineers

RTI activist, journo held for extorting money from BBMP engineers

RTI activist, journo held for extorting money  from BBMP engineers

The city police have registered a case against an RTI activist and a journalist for extorting money from three BBMP engineers. The duo had applied 120 times under the RTI Act seeking details of two projects taken up by the BBMP.

They accused the engineers of committing irregularities and extorted Rs 50,000 from them.

Based on a complaint, the Banaswadi police have registered a case under the IPC Sections 384 (extortion) and 34 (an act done in common intention) against the duo.
The suspects are Mahesh P, a resident of Jyothinagar on Hennur Main Road and
R Ramesh, a journalist with a private TV channel and a resident of Nehrunagar in Kammanahalli. The two have obtained anticipatory bail, the police said.

Geetha, an assistant executive engineer, stated in the complaint that Mahesh applied 80 times under the RTI seeking details of a project in five wards. Later, he applied 48 times seeking details of a building under construction in Maruthi Sevanagar sub-division of the BBMP. He met Geetha and assistant engineers B V Chandrashekhar and Vinay K and, accused them of providing incomplete details.

Mahesh and Ramesh had met the engineers on May 15, 2015. Ramesh told the engineers to negotiate a deal with Mahesh for Rs 5 lakh to end the matter.

After bargaining, he reduced the amount to Rs 2.5 lakh and finally to Rs 1 lakh. He claimed that he would approach the Lokayukta, the police and senior BBMP officers and expose the irregularities if the money was not paid, Geetha stated in the complaint.
The engineers approached the Lokayukta office to file a case against the duo. However, the Lokayukta staff told them that they had no powers to act against private persons and, directed them to the police.

The three officers had recorded their conversation with the suspects while paying the first installment of Rs 50,000.

Meanwhile, Ramesh aired a programme in his news channel accusing the engineers of indulging in large-scale irregularities. After the programme was telecast, the engineers lodged a complaint and also submitted the audio clip of their conversation to the police.

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