Karnataka government orders ACB probe into Sasikala prison bribery charges

The former AIADMK general secretary allegedly paid a bribe of Rs 2 crore to top officials of the Bengaluru central prison to obtain preferential treatment

india Updated: Mar 02, 2018 09:59 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Karnataka government,Anti Corruption Bureau,VK Sasikala
Karnataka government asked Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe allegations that former AIADMK general secretary bribed officials of the Bengaluru Central Prison to get preferential treatment (PTI File Photo )

The Karnataka government on Thursday ordered the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to probe allegations that former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary VK Sasikala had bribed officials of the Bengaluru central prison to obtain preferential treatment.

In a controversial report, former deputy inspector general (prisons) Roopa D Moudgal had alleged that a bribe of Rs 2 crore was paid to senior prison officials, including former director general (prisons) HN Sathyanarayana Rao.

Rao had denied the allegations and filed a defamation case against Moudgal.

Following an uproar over the report, a probe had been ordered by the government and both Moudgal and Rao had been transferred out of the prisons department.

Speaking to HT, Karnataka home minister Ramalinga Reddy said the ACB had been asked to conduct the probe following recommendations made to the government by a committee headed by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar.

The committee, which probed the allegations, in a report submitted to the government in October last year made seven recommendations, including an ACB probe into the corruption angle.

“The government, after studying that report, has accepted its recommendations,” the home minister said.

Incidentally, the Kumar-led committee’s terms of reference did not include a probe into the corruption angle.

Sasikala, who was a close aide of former Tamil Nadu chief minister late J Jayalalithaa, has been lodged in the jail after being convicted in a disproportionate assets case.

The other recommendations of the committee include conducting inquiries against Rao and Moudgal for flouting service rules by speaking to the press without seeking prior permission from the government.

Inquiries have also been ordered against the former chief superintendent and deputy superintendent of the Bengaluru prison.

Apart from this, the committee also suggested setting up of more CCTV cameras and mobile jammers in jails across the state.

Moudgal said she welcomed the move and was willing to face any inquiry.

“The service rules prohibit government employees from criticising the government. Nowhere in my report or in my statements, I have criticised the government,” she said.

“In fact, there was an amendment to the service rules that required government servants to be transparent and accountable and I have based my actions on that,” Moudgal added.

She further stated that she had already given her response to the department of personnel and administrative reforms on the question of service rule violations.

Rao could not be contacted for his comment on the development.

First Published: Mar 02, 2018 09:59 IST