BENGALURU:The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday arrested 30-year-old Ashok Kumar, owner of a real estate company from Rajajinagar here, in connection with the alleged extortion by Ashwin (son of Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao) and others.
This is the first arrest made in the case. The SIT was constituted by the state government to look into the allegations of extortion and corruption by Ashwin and other Lokayukta staff.
Incidentally, this arrest was made a day after a division bench of the High Court orally sought information on the progress of the investigation by SIT while hearing PIL seeking directions to government to hand over the matter to the CBI.
Investigating Officer DCP Labhu Ram produced Ashok Kumar before the Lokayukta Special Court on Tuesday evening. Special Judge V G Bopaiah handed over the custody of Ashok Kumar to SIT for 10 days.
Sources told Express that Ashok Kumar was arrested from his sister’s house in Rajajinagar around 3 pm on Monday and was taken to a hospital at 12.15 pm on Tuesday before being brought to the court.
The identity and other details of Ashok Kumar was kept confidential. He has reportedly disclosed the involvement of several people and gave names of victims. A release from the office of the city police commissioner confirmed the arrest.
Ashok Kumar, who was earlier working with a security agency, now owns a real estate firm. He had allegedly played a major role in the conspiracy of summoning the officials to the office of the Lokayukta over phone where demands for money were made.
During the course of the investigation, Lokayukta police had collected Call Detail Records (CDR) that showed the involvement of Ashwin aka Krishna Rao, Hotte Krishna, Bhaskar and others.
The accused allegedly called the officials to the office of Lokayukta PRO Syed Riyaz, which is adjacent to the office of Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao, saying that the Lokayukta wanted to see them. After the officials arrived, they demanded bribes. If they did not heed, they threatened them that the files and complaints against them will be handed over to the Superintendent of Police for a raid.
In one such instance, Bengaluru Urban Zilla Panchayat Executive Engineer Krishna Murthy was summoned and allegedly asked to cough up Rs 1 crore. However, he did not budge and orally complained to Bengaluru Urban Division SP Sonia Narang last May. Based on it, Narang submitted a confidential report recommending probe to protect the reputation of the anti-corruption body.
THE TRAIL SO FAR
- May 11, 2015: SP Sonia Narang submits confidential report on extortion to Registrar.
- June 30, 2015: The government decides to constitute SIT.
- July 1, 2015: Government issues order entrusting the matter to the SIT.
- July 1, 2015: Lokayukta Police register FIR against Ashwin and others.
- July 16, 2015: Ashwin files interlocutory application challenging FIR in High Court.
- July 17, 2015: SIT conducts mahazar of ‘crime scene’ at Lokayukta office.
- July 20, 2015: SIT arrests Ashok Kumar.
- July 21, 2015: Ashok Kumar was produced before special court.