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Notice to Karnataka prison official on leak of Sasikala bribery report

Bengaluru, July 14 (IANS) The Karnataka government on Friday issued notice to Deputy Inspector General of Prisons D. Roopa Moudgil for allegedly sharing with the media her report, accusing jailed AIADMK chief V.K. Sasikala of bribing prison officials for undue favours, said an official.

“The state Home Department has issued a notice to Moudgil, seeking an explanation on how her report on charges of corruption and irregularities in the central jail had reached the local news channels and media houses later on Wednesday night,” an official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Moudgil, however, denied sharing the report with the media or anyone.

“I have submitted the report to Director General of Police R.K Dutta and have not shared or shown it to anyone. You have to find out how and from where the report reached the media,” Moudgil told reporters when asked about her response to the notice.

In the four-page report in Kannada, Moudgil alleged that convict Sasikala had paid Rs 2 crore bribe to prison officials, including Director General of Prisons H.N. Satyanarayana Rao and jail warden for special priveleges such as a special menu, special chefs and a special kitchen adjacent to her cell in the prison’s women’s ward.

“As I said before, I stand by my report. Let there be an inqury into the charges and even on how it (report) reached the media. I have not discussed it with anyone. I will respond to the notice when I receive it,” reiterated Moudgil.

Sasikala, 59, is in the Parpanna Agrahara Central Jail since February 15 to serve a four-year sentence after she was found guilty and convicted by a trial court here in September 2014 in the two decades old illegal wealth case of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Though the Karnataka High Court had acquitted her, the Supreme Court on February 14, 2017 upheld the conviction and sentencing.

The Home Department has also set up a one-man inquiry committee after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ordered a probe into the report.

“The committe will be headed by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar and file an interim report on the charges of bribery and other irregularities in the central jail in a week and the final report in a month,” added the official.

Rao, however, denied the charges and welecomed the inquiry into Moudgil’s report.

Meanwhile, taking exception to officials rushing to the media on administrative or governance matters, Siddaramaiah said such an action was against service rules.

“If there is evidence or documents related to violation of rules or corruption, the concerned official is free to bring it to the notice of his or her superior. Approaching the media with them is prohibited. That is why we have issued a notice to Roopa (Moudgil) for violating the rules,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at Mysuru.

On the inquriy into the allegations Moudgil levelled against the prison’s officials, the Chief Minister said if the charges were found to be true, action would be take against the guilty.

–IANS
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