Top IAS officer complains that BJP leader contacted him for ‘help’ over seized cash

Former Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar has been booked for seeking “help” after Rs 4.8 crore cash was seized from a house in Bengaluru, a day before voting was held in the Lok Sabha seat he is contesting.
Top IAS officer complains that BJP leader contacted him for ‘help’ over seized cash
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Former health minister and the BJP’s candidate for the Chikkaballapur seat K Sudhakar has been booked for allegedly seeking the “help” of senior IAS officer Munish Moudgil to release Rs 4.8 crore cash seized a day before voting, according to a complaint filed with the police.

The Madanayakanahalli police booked the former minister on April 25, a day before the seat he is contesting was due to vote. Munish, who is the Model Code of Conduct nodal officer for Bengaluru Urban district, received a WhatsApp call on his number from Sudhakar’s phone number. Munish also received three messages on WhatsApp asking for “help” with the cash seizure. On the call, Sudhakar allegedly said ‘bitbidi’ in Kannada which means ‘let it go’. 

The complaint against Sudhakar filed by Dasharatha V Kumbar, a member of the Election Commission’s Flying Squad, said that at around 11.45 am on April 25, MCC nodal officer Munish Moudgil got a tip off from a number about Rs 10 crore being kept in a house in Yelahanka, in Bengaluru, for bribing voters and for “misuse during the election.” The caller also provided the GPS location of the house, the FIR says.

After this Munish Moudgil directed the jurisdictional income tax officials who carried out the raid at around 1 pm and seized cash amounting to Rs 4.8 crore from the house on April 25. The house allegedly belonged to a contractor.

Kumbar also says in the complaint that the officials were “prime facie convinced that the money was meant to be used to bribe voters and for other misuse as, according to the complaint from 8********3 the money was meant for bribing and other misuses during elections.” 

Soon after the raid, Munish received a WhatsApp call on his number from Sudhakar, from the number which he has listed in his nomination papers filed with the ECI. Moudgil also received three messages on WhatsApp asking for “help.”

Moudgil received one message at 2.04 pm saying “Madhavara Govindappa IT team,” followed by another one at 2.07 pm stating, “Pls help I will be very grateful to you. Regards. <Folded Hands Logo>(sic).”

The last message that Sudhakar sent to Moudgil at 2.14 pm said, “9945141601 Anand Ratkal.” Anand Ratkal is an IRS official who is the IT nodal officer of Bengaluru Urban district who carried out the raid in which the cash was seized. 

Another officer told TNM that in most raids related to elections, money and goods are seized, but neither the MCC teams nor the Income Tax departments try to find the source of money. “Money is seized, contractors or others are booked, later the IT department will release the money after a fine is paid. In this case too, there would have been no links made to any politician if Sudhakar had not called. Many other officers may not have filed the complaint even if a politician called, but Munish did. Now Sudhakar can explain why he called and sent those messages,” the officer said. 

Madanayakanahalli police have booked Sudhakar under sections 171E (bribery), 171F (undue influence or personation at an election), 171B (bribery to exercise any electoral right), 171C (undue influence at elections) of the Indian Penal Code, and Section 123 (corrupt practices) of the Representation of People Act. 

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