Additional charge sheets filed against ex-Lokayukta

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing extortion and corruption cases within the Lokayukta institution, has filed supplementary charge sheets against former Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao in three more cases.

Earlier, the SIT had chargesheeted Justice Rao in the first case. With supplementary charge sheets being filed, former Lokayukta who is also former Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court will have to face trial in four cases.

In the first charge sheet, SIT had pressed charges of abetment, destroying of evidence and attempting to save his son Ashwin, who ran an extortion racket from both the office and the residence of the Lokayukta. In the supplementary charge sheets, the SIT has pressed common charge for criminal conspiracy (120-B) under IPC. The SIT has also pressed charges under Sections 8, 9 and 10 under the Prevention of Corruption Act and under IPC Sections 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 201 (destruction of evidence). Justice Rao has been granted interim bail in all the four cases.

SIT has filed charge sheets in five cases of extortion and blackmailing, involving Justice Rao’s son Yerabati Ashwin. In all the charge sheets, the SIT has named Ashwin as the prime accused. The other accused in five charge sheets are suspended Joint Commissioner Lokayukta (PRO) Syed Riyaz, V Bhaskar, Ashok, Srinivasa Gowda, H S Rajashekhar, Narasimha Rao, Mohammed Sadiq Basha, Krishna alias Hotte Krishna and Narasimha Murthy.

The charge sheets stated that Justice Rao not only delayed enquiry when the incident was brought to his notice through a report by the then Lokayukta SP (City) Sonia Narang but attempted to save his son. The supplementary charge sheets also included statements by IAS officer Lakshminarayana, who was the then BBMP Commissioner, and former IGR (Stamps and Registration) G C Prakash. Both the officials in their statements narrated how they told Justice Rao that his son had been summoning public servants to both Lokayukta office and official residence and demanding money. However, Justice Rao took no action, instead attempted to destroy evidences and helped his son get documents from the office of the Lokayukta to move the High Court against registration of FIR.

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