Kolar MLA Srinivas Gowda had claimed he had returned Rs 5 cr of bribe money to the BJP.

Karnatakas bribe-return-gate RTI activist wants JDS and BJP MLAs bookedScreengrab
news Crime Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 20:27

Kolar MLA Srinivas Gowda of the JD(S) had recently claimed that he was given Rs 5 crore by BJP leaders. The MLA said that the Rs 5 crore was the first installment in a Rs 30 crore bribe deal promised by three BJP leaders including two MLAs who wanted him abandon the JD(S) and join BJP.

“The BJP leaders had pressured me to quit as MLA and join the saffron party. BJP MLAs Vishwanath and Ashwathnarayana and former MLA CP Yogeeshwar brought a bag containing Rs 5 crore cash to my house in Bengaluru. They promised me Rs 25 crore more and a cabinet berth if I quit JD(S) and join the BJP," Kolar MLA Srinivas Gowda of the JDS was quoted by Deccan Herald, as saying on February 10. He had later told TNM that he had returned the money two days after getting it, on instructions by the Chief Minister.

“When I informed Kumaraswamy about the offer from the BJP, he asked me not to make an issue out of it at that time. So, I remained silent. I will not succumb to pressure tactics by the BJP. All their efforts to poach MLAs from rival camps have failed,” Srinivas added.

Though Srinivas had allegedly received the money two months ago, he revealed it only two days after HD Kumaraswamy released audio clips in which BS Yeddyurappa is purportedly “trapped” while offering bribe to Sharanagouda, son of Gurmitkal MLA Naganagouda Kandkur.

While Yeddyurappa and other co-accused in the audiogate row have already been booked by Raichur police and a separate special probe will be carried out as ordered by the Assembly Speaker, no legal action has been taken in Srinivas' case.

Now, RTI activist TJ Abraham has filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Bengaluru.

In his complaint, Abraham said that the very act of accepting the bribe attracts provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act along with sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Srinivas, Vishwanath, Ashwath Narayana and Yogeshwar.

Abraham further alleged that the Rs 5 crore that Srinivas returned was arranged by CM Kumaraswamy as the original sum was already invested or spent. For this, Abraham has sought probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Prevention of Corruption Act and intentional ommission of information of offence by person bound to inform as contemplated under the Indian Penal Code.

Abraham told TNM, “The DySP assured me he will look into the complaint. I will follow up in the coming days to check if an FIR is being registered or not. I want the ACB to take action under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other charges in of the IPC.”

He added, “For charges under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, I am going to Delhi next week to lodge a complaint with the CBI as the ACB has no powers to act on this.

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