KARNATAKA

Graft case against him is based on false charges, says IAS officer

T.S. Ranganna

BANGALORE: A senior IAS officer, I.R. Perumal, who is the Secretary to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission, has complained that he is being subjected to agony by the Lokayukta establishment, which has kept alive a corruption case against him for years although it has found nothing incriminating against him.

Letter to IGP

In a letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Karnataka Lokayukta police wing, Mr. Perumal has alleged that some police officers hostile to him have exploited the Lokayukta case to harass him and members of his family by raiding his residence in Bangalore and a temple in his native place in Tamil Nadu of which he is a trustee. The proceedings against him are based on false charges, according to him.

Mr. Perumal, a 1982 batch IAS officer, has said that the Lokayukta police filed a first information report against him at somebody's behest. But official records submitted by him to the investigating officers have disproved the charges against him. The records include letters given by the District Revenue Officer of Tiruvannamalai district in Tamil Nadu, the Vandavasi taluk tahsildar and the assessment order for 1998-99 issued by the Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Bangalore. The income tax officer who took up a suo motu case after the Lokayukta raid was satisfied with his reply to the 11 points she had raised and dropped the proceedings, he has said in his letter.

Denying the charge that he has amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income, Mr. Perumal said the raid and other actions taken by the Lokayukta police not only tarnished his image in society and in government circles but also affected his career.

He lost the chance to serve in important departments ever since the case was filed against him five years ago.

His empanelment by the Union Government as a Joint Secretary has been kept in abeyance on the grounds that the case is not closed.

`B report not filed'

More damaging than the case and the raid is the delay in filing the B report after the Lokayukta investigators failed to find anything adverse against him. He has appealed to the Lokayukta Inspector-General of Police to end the humiliation he is undergoing by filing a B report.

The Additional Director-General of Police, Lokayukta police wing, Lal Rukuma Pachau, however said that the Government has been requested to permit the wing to prosecute Mr. Perumal. There is no question of either filing a B report in the disproportionate income case or replying to his letter.

He said that immediately after the raid, the police wing asked certain questions and Mr. Perumal replied. On the basis of the information provided by him, it was decided to request the Government to approve prosecution. A reply from the Government is awaited, he said.