'No role in suicide, will act against guilty,' says minister

Corporation MD JG Padmanabha, finance officer Parashuram and bank manager Shuchismitha have been named in the death note.
Minister B Nagendra addresses the media in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Minister B Nagendra addresses the media in Bengaluru on Tuesday. Photo | Nagaraja Gadekal

BENGALURU: A day after an officer of the Maharshi Valmiki Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation died by suicide, Youth Empowerment and Tribal Welfare Minister B Nagendra said he has no role in the case and there was no question of resigning.

Nagendra told reporters that the CID had started a probe. Of Rs 187 crore reserved for the years 2023-24 and 2024-25, Rs 88 crore had been transferred out of the Corporation account to another account with Union Bank of India, MG Road branch, without informing the Corporation managing director (MD). Now, out of Rs 88 crore, Rs 28 crore has been transferred back.

He said if the amount were to be released, a board meeting should have been held, but due to the model code of conduct in force, it had not happened. “The remaining amount will be transferred back to the Corporation account,” he said. Nagendra said there was no question of safeguarding anyone in the case. “Once we get the report, we will take action against those involved,” he said. “Department officials informed us that the incident happened without their knowledge.”

The minister said some bank officials are also likely to be involved in transferring the amount. “The Corporation MD has given a complaint that the transfer had not come to his knowledge. Without his signature, Rs 88 crore was transferred from one account of Union Bank to another branch. He has said he did not even get a message that the amount was withdrawn or transferred, which the bank normally does for all transactions. This raises the suspicion that officials from the department and bank were involved,” he said.

Since the Corporation MD has said his signature was forged, we are awaiting the FSL report, Nagendra said. “If the report says it is the MD’s signature, he will be sacked,” he added.

MD JG Padmanabha, finance officer Parashuram and bank manager Shuchismitha have been named in the death note. “Based on this, finance department officials visited the Corporation office and learnt the signature was forged to transfer the amount,” he alleged.

The chief secretary and principal secretary of the Backward Classes department have sought a report from the MD, and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is also reviewing it. “A case has been registered against bank authorities too,” he said.

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