BENGALURU: The Lokayukta Special Court on Wednesday reserved the judgment on four bail applications of the accused in the extortion racket in the Lokayukta.
After hearing the arguments of counsel for the four accused — Ashok Kumar, M B Srinivasa Gowda, Shankare Gowda and Syed Riyaz — Judge V G Bopaiah said the order on the bail pleas will be pronounced on August 14.
The special public prosecutor said the SIT arrested the accused because they were hand in glove with the other accused in the alleged extortion case. He asked the court to dismiss all bail petitions as further investigation is required.
How they argued their case
Accused No.2 - Ashok Kumar
- Defense: The SIM which was used to call complainant M N Krishna Murthy, Executive Engineer, Bengaluru Urban ZP, neither belongs to Kumar nor his family members. Kumar’s statements were manufactured by the SIT.
- Prosecution: The call detail records and conversation established his nexus with other accused before and after the complaint. The accused passed the information obtained under RTI to Ashwin, besides destroying the SIM used to summon the complainant.
Accused No.3 - M B S Gowda
- Defense: The accused was a journalist, so he was authorised to collect the details under RTI from various departments. The SIT pulled him up only because he is a friend of accused Shankare Gowda, an RTI activist.
- Prosecution: The accused gained information under RTI and gave it to Ashok Kumar, who, in turn, informed Ashwin and helped him extort the public servants.
Accused No.4 - S Gowda
- Defense: Allegations are false. There is no nexus between the accused. The SIT has not recovered anything from Gowda, but only recorded his statement. The only allegation against him is that he had collected the mobile numbers of various officials. Moreover, he is not a government servant.
- Prosecution: A dairy with numbers of many engineers was found at his house. He destroyed the handset used to call the complainant.
Accused No.5 - Syed Riyaz
- Defense: His name was not mentioned in the FIR. In the notice issued to Riyaz, the SIT did not inform him about the grounds of his arrest. So, the arrest itself is illegal. The complaint does not constitute any cognisable offence. Riyaz is PRO, subordinate to Lokayukta. He is bound to accommodate or book flight tickets for the Lokayukta’s son if asked to do so. If the main accused comes to the conference hall, Riyaz cannot ask him to get out. There is no evidence against him, except call detail records and his conversation with Ashok Kumar.
- Prosecution: Riyaz was the custodian of the conference hall. Without his knowledge, nobody could enter the hall, where the accused struck the deals. As PRO, he can show courtesy to the Lokayukta, but cannot support a conspiracy.