Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao’s son Y Ashwin and a group of accomplices extorted money to the tune of Rs 200 crore from government officials by threatening anti-corruption proceedings against them, former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Jagadish Shettar alleged on Wednesday.
The allegation by the BJP leader during the course of a debate in the Assembly came on a day when the Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao went on leave amid continuos demands by social activists, advocates and former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde to resign.
Lokayukta’s son Y Ashwin and his associates are under investigation for extortion, corruption, cheating and criminal conspiracy after an executive engineer employed with the state government filed a complaint stating that he was asked to pay Rs one crore to prevent a corruption case from being taken up against him.
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The Lokayukta police registered an FIR against Ashwin and others on July 1. The case has been handed over to a Special Investigation Team headed by an ADGP-rank police officer by state government following a request by Lokayukta Justice Bhaskar Rao. The SIT was scheduled to speak to the complainant M N Krishnamurthy on Wednesday.
The issue of corruption in the Lokayukta resonated in the assembly Wednesday with the BJP moving an adjournment motion to debate the issue. Leader of Opposition Jagadish Shettar, while alleging that largescale corruption was prevalent in the Lokayukta offices, said many officials were held to ransom by a group of racketeers linked to the Lokayukta himself.
Shettar alleged the Congress government had been using the corrupt Lokayukta to target Opposition leaders like former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and H D Kumaraswamy with corruption charges relating to their tenures in power. The BJP leader alleged that the Lokayukta was biased while registering an FIR into a complaint of illegal denotification of land by Yeddyurappa and Kumaraswamy when they were chief ministers.
Responding to the charges of Opposition leader, Home Minister K J George argued that the BJP was attempting to defend the corrupt actions of its former chief minister by using the issue of corruption in the Lokayukta.
BJP leader Suresh Kumar questioned the state government’s reluctance to take decisive action to nip corruption in Lokayukta.