Residences of Siddaiah, Mohammed Sadiq, Veerabhadraiah searched

In a coordinated operation early on Tuesday, the Lokayukta police conducted raids on the residences and properties owned by three prominent IAS officers and impounded movable and immovable assets worth Rs. 5.8 crore, allegedly disproportionate to their known sources of income, which totalled only Rs. 1.7 crore.

The officers in the dock are the former BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah, Karnataka Neeravari Nigama Ltd. Managing Director Mohammed A. Sadiq and Deputy General Manager of the Upper Krishna Project M.V. Veerabhadraiah.

Mr. Siddaiah, who is credited with unearthing the Rs. 1,500-crore bogus bills scam in the civic agency, was found to be in possession of assets totalling Rs. 1.90 crore whereas his income from known sources totalled Rs. 55 lakh.

He allegedly owns 120 acres of land in Badigere village near Harohalli valued at 40 lakh, a large house on a 4,000 sq ft plot in Dollars Colony worth Rs. 90 lakh and a house on Jayanagar 10t Main, among other things. The raiding party also recovered 1.6 kg gold and 13 kg silver from his house.

Mr. Siddaiah has been without a posting after he was unceremoniously shunted out of the BBMP allegedly for rubbing members of the ruling party the wrong way during the investigation of the scam.

Lokayukta officials admitted that the actual market value of these properties is at least 50 times more (about Rs. 250 crore). “We calculated the worth of the properties going by the guidance value fixed by the government at the time of their registration,” said Lokayukta ADGP Satyanarayana Rao, while addressing presspersons.

Mr. Sadiq, whose assets have been valued at Rs. 1.64 crore, owns three 2,400 sq ft plots in 3rd Block Koramangala totally worth Rs. 92 lakh as per the government guidance value. He also owns a house in Sarakki, a site in J.C. Nagar and 20 acres on Kanakpura Main Road. His bank balance is Rs. 46 lakh and Rs. 2.6 lakh cash was found at his home in Koramangala. His total income was pegged at Rs. 45 lakh.

Mr. Veerabhadraiah, who was recently promoted from KAS to IAS, was found to be the richest of the three with assets valued at Rs. 2.33 crore whereas his total income is Rs. 70 lakh.

Prominent among his impounded assets are a commercial complex off Magadi Road, houses at Vijayanagar and Nelamangala as well as four housing sites in Banashankari 1st Stage.

Interestingly, Mr. Veerabhadraiah had sought voluntary retirement to contest in the Madhugiri byelection in 2008 on a Janata Dal (Secular) ticket. However, he was denied VRS by the government.

Mr. Satyanarayana Rao dismissed allegations that these raids were politically motivated. “We do not go by politics. We concentrate only on degree of corruption,' he said.