Probe widens in Karnataka Lokayukta extortion case
Bengaluru, Sep 25: The Special Investigating Team probing the Lokayukta extortion has un-earthed more details which suggests that the racket was mammoth in nature.
It has been revealed that the accused persons had brokers who would take officials up to them and then extortion calls were made.
The SIT has named two persons Bhaskar V and Ashok as the two brokers who took an official to meet Ashwin Rao, the main accused in the case.
It is alleged that after the meeting, the accused is alleged to have demanded Rs 20 lakh as part of the extortion racket.
The SIT has filed a second chargesheet in connection with the case in which Ashwin, the son of Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao is the main accused.
The chargesheet which runs into nearly 1,530 pages also names Syed Riyaz, the Lokayukta's PRO.
Extortion through brokers
A bare reading of the chargesheet indicates that the two brokers, Bhaskar and Ashok had taken an official in the irrigation department to meet Ashwin.
After the meeting the accused is alleged to have demanded Rs 20 lakh from the official who has been named as B Channabasappa. Ashwin who was arrested in Hyderabad recently had however denied the charge.
In all there are five cases of extortion that have been registered against Ashwin.
The SIT is also probing another complain in which it is alleged that the son of the Lokayukta had demanded money from an IAS officer.
In the complaint the officer had alleged that an attempt to extort money from him was made, but he had not paid any money.
SIT officials say that the probe is still underway and they have so far filed two chargesheets in connection with this case.
So far five cases of extortion have been made out and we feel that more complaints are likely to come by, the official also added.
Meawhile there is no word on when the Lokayukta, Justice Rao would return to Bengaluru.
He has been on leave since the past two months and it is alleged that he has not deputed his work as a result of which several files and cases are pending.
The SIT had recently given Justice Rao a questionnaire to answer.
The SIT officials say that they would not be in a position to comment on the next course of action against the Lokayukta as he enjoys immunity.
It is for the government to take a call on the matter, the official also added. Justice Santhosh Hegde, the former Lokayukta of Karnataka had said in a recent interview with OneIndia that Justice Rao needs to be arrested for abeting the crime.
His office and residence was used to make the calls and he has also admitted that he was misled. He cannot sit out of office indefinitely and if the government is serious action ought to be taken, he had also said.