Defending itself from the media and political onslaught for the sudden transfer of prison officials, DG Satyanarayana Rao and DIG D Roopa Moudgil, the Karnataka government released a statement clarifying the reasons for their transfer.
The two officers were transferred out of their posts just days after a very public feud erupted between them over allegations of undue favours given to AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala, who is a prisoner at the Parappana Agrahara prisoner. The reaction to their transfers was immediate, with many voices calling the transfers a punishment for DIG Roopa’s whistle-blower report on the matter.
The government’s media release, however, justified its actions by accusing the two prison officials of violating service rules by approaching the media even after an investigation had been launched into the issue.
On receiving the report from DIG Roopa, the press release stated, the government immediately ordered a high-level inquiry into the case. “This decision was taken in view of the Government’s commitment to public interest, truth and justice. The Government was quick to institute an Inquiry Commission headed by retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar, asked to submit a preliminary report of findings within one week and a final, comprehensive report looking into the details of allegations of irregularities within a month,” the release said.
“However, the public conduct after the DIG’s first report, and despite the immediate institution of inquiry, have not been in the spirit of officers abiding by service rules and protocol,” it added.
The release said that even as the inquiry was in progress, the DG and the DIG went to the media. The report calls the officers’ media interaction “unwarranted” and a “serious violation of All India Services Conduct Rules”.
A show cause notice was therefore issued to both officers. However, a subsequent visit by the two officers to Parappana Agrahara had resulted in “disturbance in the jail premises,” the release said.
“In order to maintain the sanctity of the inquiry process and safeguard it from further interference, the government has asked the DGP (Prisons) HN Satyanarayana Rao to proceed on leave, while DIG (Prisons) D Roopa has been transferred as Deputy Inspector General of Police and Commissioner for Traffic and Road Safety, Bengaluru,” it added.
The release states that the two officers have been transferred to allow the inquiry to proceed unhindered, so that proper evidence can emerge and strict action can be taken against those found guilty.