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Illegal money transfer: Karnataka government suspends two officials of Valmiki corp

The government issued separate suspension orders for the two officers on charges of dereliction of duty, negligence and violation of financial rules. This is in connection with unauthorised transfer of Rs 88.62 crore from the Corporation’s bank account.
harath Joshi
Last Updated : 29 May 2024, 14:50 IST
Last Updated : 29 May 2024, 14:50 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has suspended Maharshi Valmiki ST Development Corporation’s managing director J G Padmanabh and accounts officer Parashuram G Durgannanavar after it was found that they overlooked the creation of a new bank account that facilitated unauthorised movement of funds.

The government issued separate suspension orders for the two officers on charges of dereliction of duty, negligence and violation of financial rules. This is in connection with unauthorised transfer of Rs 88.62 crore from the Corporation’s bank account.

According to the government, the Corporation had its savings bank account (520101080091055) in the Vasanthnagar branch of the Union Bank of India. Another account (520141001659653) was opened in the MG Road branch of the same bank without authorisation or justification. Funds to the tune of Rs 187 crore was moved from the old account to the new one illegally.

Between March 5 and 23, Rs 88.62 crore was withdrawn from the MG Road branch account by anonymous persons, upon which Padmanabh and Durgannanavar did not act, the government said. The money was moved to 14 “anonymous” accounts based on “forged” cheques and RTGS letters. An “unknown number” was entered instead of the registered mobile number. The fraud was done in such a manner that no intimation reached the Corporation’s registered email address.

Apparently, the money was found to have moved to the RBL Bank through 14 “virtual” accounts. Money went to accounts in the name of “well-known” IT companies and a Hyderabad-based cooperative bank, the government said. “These accounts were frozen and Rs 5 crore was returned to the Corporation,” it said.

According to the government, Padmanabh got to know about the illegal transfer of money to 14 different bank accounts on May 22. But he submitted a report to the government on May 27, a day after the Corporation’s accountant Chandrashekhar died by suicide, leaving behind a note naming officials involved in the scam. The delay in reporting the matter to the government amounted to dereliction of duty, the government said.

Durgannanavar was found to have faltered in his duty of managing the Corporation’s bank account and financial transactions.

The government has given additional charge to ST Welfare Department’s joint director KR Rajkumar as managing director of the Corporation in the wake of Padmanabh’s suspension.

“The government won’t allow its money to be misused. Officials are in the process of recovering Rs 88 crore that was misused,” ST Welfare Minister B Nagendra said in a statement.

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Published 29 May 2024, 14:50 IST

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