The Karnataka Lokayukta, an anti-corruption watchdog, conducted raids at 40 locations across the state on Wednesday, targeting 10 government officials who are accused of amassing disproportionate assets. The raids revealed the extent of corruption and wealth accumulation among the public servants, who belong to various departments such as electricity, food, rural development, and education.
Disproportionate assets worth crores seized
The Lokayukta sleuths seized substantial amounts of cash, jewellery, incriminating documents, luxurious residences, and high-end vehicles during the raids. According to the Lokayukta Inspector General of Police Dr A Subramanyeswara Rao, the raids were carried out in various districts barring Bengaluru. The officials raided are suspected of having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, which is a punishable offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Some of the officials who came under the Lokayukta’s scanner are:
- A BESCOM executive engineer, who has a house in Vidyaranyapura in Bengaluru and a farmhouse in Nagamangala. The Lokayukta sleuths raided the house of the executive engineer’s father-in-law, who is a powerful leader in the ruling Congress in Nagamangala.
- A food inspector, who has a house and office in Hassan. They also searched the house of the food inspector’s brother, who is a realtor.
- An executive engineer in the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited, who has properties in Chamarajanagar and Mysuru.
- A deputy director of public instruction, who has assets in Koppal and Ballari.
- A deputy director of the department of minorities welfare, who has properties in Mangaluru and Udupi.
The Lokayukta officials are yet to ascertain the exact value of the disproportionate assets seized, but it is estimated to be in crores of rupees.
Lokayukta’s role in curbing corruption
The Karnataka Lokayukta is an independent statutory body that was established in 1986 to investigate and prosecute cases of corruption, maladministration, and abuse of power by public officials. The Lokayukta has the power to conduct raids, searches, seizures, arrests, and prosecutions, as well as recommend disciplinary action against the guilty officials.
The Lokayukta has been instrumental in exposing several high-profile corruption cases in the state, such as the mining scam, the land denotification scam, and the irrigation scam. The Lokayukta has also been proactive in responding to the complaints and grievances of the common citizens, who can approach the Lokayukta through various modes such as online, phone, email, post, or in person.
The Lokayukta’s raids on Wednesday are part of its ongoing efforts to curb corruption and ensure accountability and transparency in the public administration. The Lokayukta has appealed to the public to come forward and report any instances of corruption or misconduct by the government officials, and assured them of prompt and effective action.