BENGALURU: A clerk attached to Karnataka’s police headquarters was arrested late on Tuesday. Narasimha Murthy (39), First Division Assistant at the office of the Director General and Inspector General of Police, was allegedly acting as a mediator between policemen and those arrested in the Lokayukta racket.
He was produced before a court on Wednesday and sent to judicial custody. Working from an office adjacent to the DG&IGP’s office, Narasimha Murthy was allegedly ‘helping’ officers get lucrative postings in the Lokayukta.
Former DG&IGP Lalrokhuma Pachau had withheld Murthy’s increments for six months after his activities had come to light.
A source said Narasimha Murthy had continued his dealings even after the disciplinary action. Like some others implicated in the racket, Murthy was using a pseudonym.
He is the third accused in the complaint filed by D Udayshankar, Chief Engineer, Karnataka Health System Development Reforms. The first two are Y Ashwin, son of Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao, and tout V Bhaskar, both of whom are in judicial custody.
After seeing Ashwin and Bhaskar in the media, Udayshankar identified them and filed a complaint with the Special Investigation Team on Tuesday, the fourth relating to extortion scam at the Lokayukta.
A team arrested Narasimha Murthy at his house at 11.30 pm on Tuesday, and produced him before the Lokayukta Special Court on Wednesday afternoon. Judge V G Bopaiah allowed the police custody till August 25.
In his remand application, Deputy Superintendent of Police C A Simon requested the court custody for a week to enable interrogation and collection of material evidence. Murthy has been booked under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
According to Udayshankar’s complaint, Narasimha Murthy was present on February 5, 2015, when Ashwin and Bhaskar called him over to the official residence of the Lokayukta in Bengaluru. The three allegedly demanded RS 3 crore to close a suo motu corruption case pending against Udayshankar with the Lokayukta.
Later, they scaled down the demand to RS 2 crore. They allegedly threatened Udayshankar that he would be raided and humiliated ahead of his daughter’s wedding. His complaint says he shelled out an advance of RS 5 lakh to Narasimha Murthy at K R Circle on February 14, 2015. Udayshankar is being investigated in a RS 600 crore scam. He allegedly violated the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement Act in awarding contracts. He split a PWD project into 525 works, each for RS 19 lakh, and awarded them during 2011-12 when he was Superintending Engineer in Ramanagaram division. The final Lokayukta report, though ready, was not submitted as the state government had kept pending the request for sanction to prosecute him.
The HC took a serious view of the delay, and the government recently approved Udayshankar’s prosecution.
‘Narang Had Met
Ashwin, Murthy’: Ashwin, Lokayukta Bhaskar Rao’s son, had told Express before his arrest that Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang had met him with Narasimha Murthy to get a posting with the Lokayukta.
The meeting took place at the Lokayukta’s official residence, according to Ashwin. Sonia had said she had been called to meet Lokayukta Rao. Hours before he was held, Narasimha Murthy was trying to help a sub-inspector get a lucrative posting.
Four Cars For Murthy: Narasimha Murthy was found working from a room adjacent to the DG&IGP’s office. He had two assistants and four cars.
A citizen, Dr Shivaram, had filed an RTI petition to find out how the office had allowed him such a privilege. “The DG&IGP office did not give the reason, even though I had sought to know under the Right to Information Act,” said Shivaram, who was present at the Lokayukta Court on Wednesday. Narasimha Murthy had allegedly helped an inspector who had booked a false case against Shivaram’s son.