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State government cannot seek CBI probe into bribery charge against Lokayukta, says Siddaramaiah

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday ruled out a CBI probe into the bribery charge against the Lokayukta, saying the state government did not have powers to do so against an independent anti-corruption body.

“The state government has no powers to seek a CBI probe into a bribery charge in an independent institution like Lokayukta or against its ombudsman,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

Upalokayukta Justice Subash B. Adi, on Saturday sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into charges against an unidentified person in the Lokayukta, who claimed to be close to Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao and allegedly sought Rs.1 crore from a state public works department engineer on April 21, after Rao on Friday unilaterally ordered the Crime Branch to investigate.

Former Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde also favoured probing such a serious charge by the country’s premier investigating agency.

“Bribery charges within the institution will make people lose faith in it. It is better to shut it than allowing it to just raid officials and not others. Framing charges and conviction rate are far less than the number of graft cases booked,” he said.

Adi contended on Saturday that the Crime Branch cannot hold an inquiry without first filing an FIR, lacks expertise to conduct such a probe and was below Lokayukta in the judicial hierarchy.

In a related development, the Lokayukta office on Sunday decided to urge the state government to appoint any other independent agency to probe the charge, as Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) M. Chandra Shekar declined on the grounds that his father-in-law M. Rama Nanjappa was caught accepting Rs.50 lakh bribe when he was a special commissioner for urban land acquisition and was facing proceedings by the Lokayukta office in the case.

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The CBI Arrests Two Senior Retired Officers Of Bank Of India

The agency in an FIR had said that the DPIL, which manufactures electric cables and

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The CBI Arrests Two Senior Retired Officers Of Bank Of India: Bank Of India Fraud
The CBI Arrests Two Senior Retired Officers Of Bank Of India: Bank Of India Fraud. IANS

The CBI today arrested two senior retired officers of Bank of India in connection with alleged loan fraud of Rs 2,654 crore by Vadodara-based Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd. (DPIL) in the bank. V V Agnihotri and P K Shrivastava, retired GM and DGM respectively, had allegedly granted undue favours to the company in granting credit limits, the officials said.

They said both have been arrested today and will be produced before special court in Ahmedabad tomorrow.The promoters of the company were arrested in April this year. The agency in an FIR had said that the DPIL, which manufactures electric cables and equipment, is promoted by Suresh Narain Bhatnagar and his sons Amit and Sumit, who are also the directors of the firm.

Bank of India
Bank of India. Flickr

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The loan, it said, was declared a non-performing asset in 2016-17. “It is alleged that the DPIL, through its management, fraudulently availed credit facilities from a consortium of 11 banks (both public and private) since 2008, leaving behind an outstanding debit of Rs 2,654.40 crore as of June 29, 2016,” the agency had said. (IANS)