A group of RTI activists staged a protest in Bengaluru on Wednesday demanding the resignation of anti corruption ombudsman and Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao in the light of allegations of corruption within the Lokayukta. The RTI activists while demanding the resignation of the Lokayukta have referred to a recent letter written by a Superintendent of Police alleging the existence of an extortion racket within the Lokayukta set up.
The activists who protested at the Gandhi Statue near the Bangalore Race Course have also called for a CBI inquiry into the alleged corruption within the Lokayukta. “It has been over a month since SP Sonia Narang filed a complaint of corruption within the agency. No action has been taken as yet. When the question of integrity of the entire Lokayukta is at stake an internal enquiry is of no use, ” RTI activist S Bhaskaran who is leading the protest said.
The protests by the RTI activists stem from a letter written last month to the Lokayukta registrar by Sonia Narang, an SP of the Lokayukta police wing, where she stated that an Executive Engineer Krishnamurthy had approached her and alleged that he was summoned to the Lokayukta office by a man going by the name of Krishna Rao and was asked to pay Rs. 1 crore as a bribe to prevent a raid on his home by the anti-corruption squad. Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao is yet to react to the letter but a Upa Lokayukta, Justice Subhash Adi, has ordered an internal inquiry on the issue.
RTI activists who staged a protest on Wednesday said that the matter must be given to the CBI since the Lokayukta police have limited scope to investigate the corrupt within their own departments. “The very reason why SP Narang reported the matter to the Lokayukta registrar instead of investigating it was probably due to the suspicion that one of the beneficiaries of the kickbacks may be linked to the Lokayukta, the Upa Lokayuktas or their kin. If the SP is asked to investigate the case she will definitely face hurdles,” Bhaskaran said. The RTI activists have sought Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s intervention to refer the case to CBI or a Supreme Court monitored committee. “We will file a Public Interest Litigation demanding transparency in the probe,” Bhaskaran said