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Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

Sasikala jail bribery: Karnataka DGP sends legal notice to D Roopa

Roopa had alleged that Rs 2 crore had exchanged hands to provide special facilities to Sasikala and had dragged Rao into the case, claiming there was a “talk” that he was also a beneficiary.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2017 20:00 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
D Roopa Moudgil, who exposed the VIP treatment being given to AIADMK leader VK Sasikala in Parappana Agrahara Central jail.
D Roopa Moudgil, who exposed the VIP treatment being given to AIADMK leader VK Sasikala in Parappana Agrahara Central jail.(PTI File Photo)

Former Karnataka deputy inspector general of prisons Roopa D Moudgil, who alleged that AIADMK leader VK Sasikala received preferential treatment in Bengaluru Central Prison by paying a bribe, has been issued a legal notice by former director general of police (prisons) HN Sathyanarayana Rao seeking unconditional apology for saying there were allegations of bribery against him.

In her controversial report, Moudgil had said she heard allegations Sasikala paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to senior prison officials, including Rao, for getting privileged treatment, which, among other things, including a private kitchen.

Moudgil was transferred to the position of inspector general of police and commissioner for traffic and road safety, Bengaluru. Rao was also transferred, but without charge as he is set to retire at the end of the month.

In a notice dated July 16 and released by his lawyers, Rao has denied all the allegations and sought a public apology from Moudgil within three days of receiving the notice.

The notice says Rao will file defamation suits, both civil and criminal, for Rs 50 crore even if Moudgil apologises, as her report, coming just a few days before Rao’s retirement, “has caused untold mental agony to him”.

Reacting to the notice on Thursday, Moudgil stuck to her stand.

“I have done my duty... There is a complaint pending with the anti-corruption bureau, and it has to look into the matter,” Moudgil said.

Moudgil said Australia-based NRI VC Prakash had said in connection with the Election Commission bribery case that he knew the jail officials and had facilitated a meeting between them and Sasikala. “The ACB will have to look into to this lead,” Moudgil said. “I’m sure the truth will emerge.”

In the notice, a copy of which HT has accessed, Rao’s lawyers have accused Moudgil of leaking her report to Rao on the alleged irregularities even before it reached him. “Thus, it is clear that publicity was the main intention in writing such a complaint,” the notice says.

The notice says Moudgil had some axe to grind against Rao “and to achieve same you have made baseless allegations and the same has tarnished the image of my client.”

Accusing Moudgil of taking photos elsewhere in the prison compound, the notice questions why she could not take photos of the alleged privileges that had been allowed to Sasikala. “The reason is obvious that you could not take photo of a non-existent kitchen,” the notice says.

“You claim that you have taken pictures of irregularities inside the prison. But you have not taken the picture of Sasikala’s separate kitchen and other royal facilities, which are the prime subject of your allegations. You could not take pictures because nothing like that existed,” the notice says.

Meanwhile, the inquiry ordered by the chief minister headed by a retired Indian Administrative Service officer is underway. Rao, Moudgil, and jailer Krishna Kumar were transferred to ensure a fair probe, the government had said.

The State Human Rights Council is also looking into the matter.