AIADMK General Secretary and convict VK Sasikala Natarajan was accused of bribing Karnataka Director General of Prisons (DGP) Satyanarayana Rao and Bengaluru central jail officials for undue favours on Wednesday.
"Sasikala has given Rs 1 crore bribe to Rao and another Rs 1 crore was distributed among officials, including warden of the central jail where she is serving 4-year sentence in an illegal wealth case for allowing her special privileges," said a local news channel thats quoted deputy inspector of prisons (DIG) Roopa Moudgil submitted to the state government.
While Roopa was not reachable to confirm the bribery and other charges, Rao, however, denied them and accused Roopa of gross sub-ordination.
"I have served a memo to her (Roopa) seeking explanation and evidence to prove her wild allegations. She has not given any report to me or the government against me or other jail officials," Rao told IANS. In a sensational revelation, Roopa said 59-year-old Sasikala was getting royal treatment in the women's cell where she has been lodged since February 15 to serve her sentence.
Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, taking cognisance of the media reports, ordered an enquiry into the alleged irregularities at the Bengaluru central prison, where Sasikala is serving her sentence.
We have taken serious cognizance of the allegation of irregularities in Bengaluru Central Prison & ordered a high level inquiry. 1/2
— CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) July 13, 2017
Request all to await the outcome of this inquiry. Strict action will be taken against any person found guilty of wrongdoing. 2/2 — CM of Karnataka (@CMofKarnataka) July 13, 2017
Co-convicts Sasikala's sister-in-law Elavarasi and nephew VK Sudhakaran were also held guilty by a trial court in September 2014 and upheld by the Supreme Court on February 14 in the two-decade-old disproportionate assets case of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
"As a reward for bribing the prison authorities from Rao to jail warden, Sasikala gets special menu daily, cooked by special chefs in a special kitchen near the women's cell," Roopa is said to have mentioned in the report.
The 2000 batch IPS officer is the first woman in the southern state to have been recently (23 June) appointed DIG of the prisons department.
Alleging massive irregularities and rampant corruption in the central jail on the city's southern outskirts, Roopa said drugs were being distributed to the inmates through various means and select prisoners were given special facilities.
"At least 18 of the 25 prisoners who were tested for taking drugs reported positive. From DGP to jail warden are involved in flouting the prison manual," alleged Roopa in the report.
Refuting the charges, Rao said how she found so many wrong things in three weeks of joining the department. What and how she could know of things that might have happened or not months ago as being aired quoting from her report.
"I have asked her to meet me on Friday and hand over the so-called report from which a news channel is airing her views. Where was she when Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held a review meeting here on Monday? Ask her?," quipped an upset Rao.
News18 reported that according to the letter, a special kitchen set up for Sasikala, violating jail rules. "There are rumours that this issue was brought to your (DG's) notice and yet this is being continued. It is being said that Rs 2 crore bribe has been paid by her to ensure her comfort in the jail. Such accusations are grave, and I request you to pay heed and take action against errant officials."
"You (DGP) have been interfering with my work ever since I took charge. On 11th July, I got your memo that sought explanation on why I went to Central Jail on 10 July. I have full powers to enquire into happenings in the Central Jail — but such memos sent by you require introspection on the functioning of the jail administration itself," the letter further added.
Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 13:11 PM