A decision on handing over the probe into the death of IAS officer D K Ravi to the CBI has been left to the Congress government in Karnataka by the party high command, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday.
The CM’s remarks came amid reports that Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asked Siddaramaiah to hand over to CBI the investigation into the death of the 36-year-old IAS officer, who had earned a reputation for taking on powerful land and real estate operators.
“I have informed the high command on the actions taken by the government to find out the truth behind the death. Madam has given a free hand to the government to take a decision,” he said.
A decision on handing over the case to the CBI is likely to be made by the government in the Assembly on Monday after an interim investigation report by the CID is placed in the legislature by the state government. “Since the Assembly is in session and it reconvenes on Monday, the state government stand will be revealed on the floor of the House,” Siddaramaiah said.
The government has been maintaining that Ravi committed suicide for “personal reasons’’ and not due to professional pressure stemming from his efforts to bring tax evaders and land grabbers to book as the additional commissioner for commercial taxes enforcement and earlier as deputy commissioner of the Kolar district in south Karnataka. The officer was found hanging at his flat at the upscale St John’s Wood apartments in south Bangalore on March 16.
Opposition parties, BJP and JD(S), have accused the state government of a cover up and demanded a CBI probe into the death. The opposition’s call for a CBI probe found resonance among the public even as the government insisted on an investigation by the CID.
Siddaramaiah had told the IAS officer’s parents that a decision on a CBI report would be taken after a preliminary probe report is made available to the government. Siddaramaiah said on Saturday there was no attempt by the state government to cover up the truth or to protect anyone.
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