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In a first, councillor gets 4 years for graft

Special Correspondent
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GUILTY:BBMP councillor L. Govindraraju (right) being led away by the police after his sentencing.— PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY
GUILTY:BBMP councillor L. Govindraraju (right) being led away by the police after his sentencing.— PHOTO: V. SREENIVASA MURTHY

The Lokayukta Special Court on Wednesday convicted L. Govindaraju, Bruhat Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) councillor for Ganesh Mandir ward, for demanding and accepting a bribe and sentenced him to four years’ rigorous imprisonment, besides fining him Rs. 90,000.

Barely three months after he was elected, Govindaraju (Congress) was caught red-handed by Lokayukta sleuths accepting a bribe of Rs. 2 lakh from Uday Kumar, a builder, in July 2010.

The Lokayukta police had charge-sheeted him and Gopal, a mediator.

The charge was that the councillor demanded Rs. 8 lakh from Mr. Uday Kumar, a resident of Banashankari 3rd Stage, for condoning a plan deviation in the construction of an apartment complex. The builder paid him Rs. 2 lakh as the first instalment, and when Govindaraju demanded the rest, Mr. Uday Kumar complained to the Lokayukta police.

On July 17, 2010, the Lokayukta police arrested Govindaraju along with Gopal while accepting Rs. 2 lakh at the formers’ house. The team also filmed the trap.

The court held that prosecution witness Thimme Gowda, a BBMP mason, was liable for punishment for giving contradictory depositions. Gowda, who had given a statement before the court under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code, turned hostile in the deposition during the trial.

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