Bengaluru: Karnataka's director general of prisons HN Satyanarayana Rao denied charges by a woman police officer that he had taken money to provide special facilities to jailed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala.
Director inspector general (DIG) of prisons D Rupa Moudgil had alleged that Sasikala, 59, was getting VIP treatment with a makeshift kitchen in her cell in the Parappana Agrahara Jail on the city's southern outskirts, with another inmate preparing food for her.
Moudgil leveled the charges in a report to director general of police RK Dutta and chief secretary SC Khuntia on Wednesday. State law minister TB Jayachandra has promised to launch a probe and take action, if necessary. Rao, however, said the allegations were false.
"There is no facility given to Sasikala. She is an ordinary prisoner. No undue favours have been given to her," he said. He said if Moudgil had come to know about the so-called special facilities, she should have discussed it with him. "But to go and discuss it in the open without evidence is wrong."
Rao said in the past that he had given memos to her on two occasions when she had gone public on some issues. Refuting Moudgil's charges, Rao asked his deputy for proof to corroborate that special provisions were made for Sasikala in the women's cell of the jail.
"If Moudgil had observed something unusual during her inspection of the jail premises, she should have brought it to my notice and discussed with me than going to the media. If she thinks she has serious charges against me, I am ready for a probe," Rao said.
Maintaining her charge, Moudgil demanded a fact-finding probe into what she had said. "There are facts in the report (sent by me)," she said.
Asserting that she had no vested interest in accusing Rao and other prison officials of grave charges mentioned in her four-page report, Moudgil said she was shocked to find many irregularities in the jail premises during her inspection rounds on return from leave recently.
"In mentioning the charges and rampant corruption in the prison in the report, I have not flouted any rule or norm. I am ready to substantiate them (charges)," Moudgil said.
The 2000 batch IPS officer is the first woman in the southern state to recently (23 June) appointed as DIG of prisons department. She also alleged that Sasikala paid a Rs 2 crore bribe to Rao and jail officials, including its warden for undue favours.
Sasikala and two co-convicts, sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew VK Sudhakaran, are serving a four-year sentence in the central jail since 15 February after they were held guilty by a trial court in September 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court on 14 February in the two-decade old disproportionate assets case involving former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
In a related development, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah ordered a high-level inquiry into the bribery and other charges Moudgil levelled in her report to the state government. "I request all to wait for the outcome of the inquiry. Strict action will be taken against any person found guilty of wrong doing," Siddaramaiah said.
Meanwhile, AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi said in Chennai that Sasikala was dragged into a fight between the two officials because she was a VIP, as accusation against an ordinary person would not have attracted (media) attention.
Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 22:56 PM