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Karnataka Valmiki Corporation scam: SIT arrests suspended MD, accounts officer

The probe team produced the duo before a magistrate on Saturday and received their custody for six days, well-placed sources told DH.
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 15:49 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 15:49 IST

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Bengaluru: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has arrested two people, including the suspended managing director, over alleged embezzlement of public funds at the Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation. J G Padmanabha, the MD, and Parashurama G, the Accounts Officer, were arrested late on Friday evening after the government constituted the SIT.

The probe team produced the duo before a magistrate on Saturday and received their custody for six days, well-placed sources told DH. A source close to the probe said that the SIT had begun investigating the two men's role in the alleged scam.

The government suspended Padmanabha and Parashurama on May 29 for "dereliction of duty, negligence and violation of financial rules". The unauthorised transfer of Rs 187 crore belonging to the corporation came to the fore after accounts superintendent Chandrashekhar died by suicide on May 26 at his residence in Shivamogga. The money was wired from the corporation’s bank account at the MG Road branch of Union Bank of India to the same bank’s other branches in March 2024.

It was also alleged that Rs 89.62 crore was transferred to “well-known” IT companies and a co-operative bank based in Hyderabad. The deceased had left behind a note, alleging the misappropriation of funds and blamed his death on Padmanabha, Parashurama and Union Bank of India chief manager Suchismita Rawal.

In the note, Chandrashekhar purportedly claimed that the minister issued oral orders for fund transfer. The state-run corporation comes under Karnataka Scheduled Tribes Welfare Minister B Nagendra. However, Nagendra’s name wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the note.

The opposition BJP has been demanding the minister’s resignation and a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). "There won’t be two probes. But if it comes to that, then it’ll be transferred from the CID to the CBI", Home Minister G Parameshwara said, adding that the CBI can interfere if there is fraud involving a sum of Rs 3 crore and more in public sector banks.

On Friday, DH reported that a bank account named Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd at RBL Bank is shown as the beneficiary of Rs 4.53 crore from Karnataka Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation. In a statement on Saturday, Happiest Minds, promoted by IT veteran Ashok Soota, denied links with the bank account (00015010055200010).

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Published 01 June 2024, 15:49 IST

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