Big Question: Will Rao be Named Accused?

SIT, which has filed chargesheets in five of six cases, has not named Rao as an accused in any. Now, it is over to SIT.

Published: 09th December 2015 05:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2015 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: After Justice Y Bhaskar Rao resigned as Lokayukta on Monday, all eyes are on the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the extortion scandal at the anti-corruption ombudsman he headed.

The team, which has filed chargesheets in five out of six extortion cases, has not named Rao as an accused in any. It is not clear if sleuths will question him again.

In two of five chargesheets, Rao has been named as one of several witnesses, and not an accused. According to one of the chargesheets, then BBMP Commissioner Lakshminarayana, allegedly called by Y Ashwin to the official residence of the Lokayukta, had complained about an extortion attempt to Rao.

In another chargesheet filed recently, Shankar Bhat, legal adviser to BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhat, purportedly told the SIT that he had informed Rao about the no-objection certificate Ashwin had sought in a land conversion case.

Ashwin’s network allegedly conducted its transactions from the official residence of Lokayukta on Crescent Road. A source said one of those behind bars has alleged the deals were cut on holidays, when Rao was not in town.

“It is not clear if the SIT has established this or not. But they have not named Rao among the accused,” the source observed.

The Lokayukta’s name might, however, figure in the additional chargesheet to be filed by the SIT shortly.

Meanwhile, social activist Alam Pasha has filed an interlocutory application (IA) before the Lokayukta Special Court, seeking directions for Rao to be named among the accused.

Judge V G Bopaiah has directed the SIT to file objections on the IA and adjourned the hearing to December 21.

The SIT must now take a call on whether to make Rao an accused, the source said. The investigators are submitting details to the Supreme Court, which will  hear the bail applications of  accused on December 16.

SIT Additional Director-General of Police Kamal Pant refused to comment on the case.

Pending Cases

13,000 pending cases are not bound to see the light of day for some more time With Lokayukta Bhaskar Rao resigning and Upa Lokayukta Subhash Adi on leave.

While the state government has finalised the name of Upa Lokayukta, the fact is that some cases are against elected representatives and these can be dealt with only by the Lokayukta.

800 fresh complaints have been received after Justice Rao went on leave in July. These cases pertain to his jurisdiction only. This apart, around 350 scrutiny notes need to be approved by the Lokayukta to proceed with the investigation.


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