In-house graft charge case pits Lokayukta vs Upa Lokayukta: Extortion Rs One Crore / Illegal Raids Threat 24 June 2015

 The corridors of the watchdog and police circles see a direct showdown at the highest levels in Lokayukta between Justice Subhash Adi and Justice Bhaskar Rao

Six weeks back, Sonia Narang, Lokayukta’s superintendent of police, City, dashed off a letter to Lokayukta registrar on how one Krishna Rao demanded Rs 1 crore from a Zilla Panchayath (Urban) executive engineer, Krishnamurthy, to help him wriggle out of a raid. Shockingly, the demand was made in the Lokayukta headquarters in M S Building on two days – May 5 and May 7. So her demand, made on May 11, seemed perfectly valid and simple: Go through the CCTV footage between May 5 and 7 and identify the Krishna Rao.Till June 23 (Tuesday), the Lokayukta, Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, has maintained public silence on such a serious allegation within the institution assigned to eliminate corruption; he has merely mentioned ”Discuss” on Narang’s report and asked for in-house steps so that such occurrences are avoided in future.

On Tuesday, however, the Upa Lokayukta, Justice Subhash B Adi, has gone ahead and ordered Narang to conduct a ‘free and fair’ inquiry and submit a report to ‘me’.

The corridors of the watchdog and police circles see a direct showdown at the highest levels in Lokayukta between the two Justices. ”Upa Lokayukta directing the police wing to investigate the matter is a bit strange. We will have to see how Lokayukta reacts to this. I don’t know how police wing can proceed in the matter without a nod from Lokayukta,” a senior officer in Lokayukta told Bangalore Mirror.

He said it looks like a turf war breaking out between officials and higher-ups in the institution which has taken a body blow on its image of being a corruption watchdog.

“A lot of people in bureaucracy and Lokayukta office expected Justice Adi-like action from the highest level after a report was submitted by Narang regarding the bribe demand.

She stated in the report that a person who identified himself as Krishna Rao called the engineer to Lokayukta office and took the reference of a joint commissioner of police before demanding bribe.

“We will have to see how Lokayukta reacts to this direction from his deputy,” an insider from Lokayukta said.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, Justice Adi said the IO, who is city Lokayukta SP, has been directed to carry out a detailed, free and fair probe without budging to any pressure or other factors.

“I had received a complaint by AAP and a notice is issued to the IO in this regard. The IO (city SP) has been directed to carry out a free and fair probe on the allegations. I have told the IO to make an appropriate investigation and submit a report. I have asked her to find out truth in the interest of the esteemed organisation as doubts in the minds of people have to be cleared,” Justice Subhash B Adi told Bangalore Mirror.

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