Rs. 2.2 crore worth of assets confiscated

The Lokayukta sleuths on Thursday searched the houses of four government officials and confiscated properties worth Rs. 2.2 crore which is disproportionate to their known sources of income.

Additional Director-General of Police H.N. Satyanarayana Rao said that the searches were conducted in 14 places that included the residential premises of S L. Haleshappa, In-charge Assistant Executive Engineer, Karnataka Housing Board, Bellary; S.L. Anandappa, Assistant Engineer, PWD, PRE Division, Davanagere; C.R. Manjunath, Office Superintendent, Government Hospital, Hassan; and G.P. Anand, Assistant Engineer, Urban Development Department, Hassan.

It may be mentioned here that, Mr. Haleshappa is accused of furnishing a fake marks card of completing Bachelor of Engineer course from Kuvempu University to KHB to get promotion. A criminal case has been registered with Bhadravathi rural police station against him in this connection.

All the four have been booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

ADGP reacts

Additional Director-General of Police H.N. Satyanarayana Rao, at the press conference here on Friday, responded to questions on cases filed against him. He said that cases were being filed against him and also against Lokayukta officials to demoralise them as they were fighting against corrupt officials. “The property in question was purchased in the name of my wife from her own resources and we have intimated the government about the purchase”, he said.

The said property was later sold and the same has been communicated to the government, he said adding that there is nothing to hide in this case. Mr. Rao said that the Lokayukta has 138 cases pending for sanction for prosecution from various departments. The Lokayukta sleuths managed to get 50 per cent of the cases cleared and they would be filing charge-sheet against the accused government officials.

This could be one of the reasons why some vested interests are trying to scare the officials from perusing cases, he said without making any specific references. He, however, said that he would ensure that the cases that have got sanction for prosecution would be taken to their logical end.

Backgrounder

It may be recalled that C. Lakshminarayana filed a case against Mr. Satyanarayana Rao alleging that he had suppressed information about a property in his annual property declaration.

Submitting the photograph of a large bungalow, complainant C. Lakshminarayana told the court that it had been registered in the name of Mr. Rao’s wife Lakshmi Rao and was located at Maruvanthe beach in Udupi district. However, he said that documents could not be obtained as the local revenue authorities in Maravanthe were “too scared” to release them.

Based on this allegation, Mr. Lakshminarayana averred that Mr. Satyanarayana Rao, who holds office in an anti-corruption agency, could not be trusted to act against the corrupt when he himself owned illegal properties.

The private complaint was filed before the Special Lokayukta Court against Mr. Rao here on June 11 accusing him of withholding information about criminal cases against the former bureaucrat M.V. Veerabhadraiah, who contested from the Madhugiri constituency on a Janata Dal (Secular) ticket in the Assembly elections after taking voluntary retirement.

When Mr. Veerabhadraiah sought voluntary retirement to contest the election, the government asked Mr. Rao to check if there were any cases pending against him in the Lokayukta. Mr. Rao withheld the fact that the Lokayukta had filed a charge-sheet in a land grab case against him.

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