Lokayukta traps Kodagu DFO for demanding bribe from her subordinate
Madikeri: At a time when allegations of 40 percent commission for Government work are flying thick and fast, here is an incident where a high-ranking Forest Department Officer demanded 60 percent commission for official work. She has now been trapped by the Lokayukta based on a complaint from a junior ranking Officer working with her.
Lokayukta sleuths yesterday caught District Forest Officer (DFO) Social Forestry of Madikeri Range, Poornima red-handed, while she was allegedly accepting a bribe from her junior Officer. Based on a complaint from the Range Forest Officer (RFO), the sleuths caught Poornima while she was accepting Rs. 50,000 from Mayura Udaya Karavekar.
Poornima was arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act and taken into custody for further investigation. The Forest Department had initiated two small works worth Rs. 1.60 lakh. Poornima allegedly pestered Mayura Udaya Karavekar to hand over 60 percent (Rs. 1 lakh) of the sanctioned money as bribe.
When Karavekar refused to pay the commission as the work was undertaken efficiently and following all the rules of public work in a transparent manner, the accused used to humiliate him publicly. She also threatened to suspend him after writing an unfavourable report against him to the higher officers. Unable to bear the harassment and greed, Karavekar approached the Lokayukta, he wrote in the complaint.
In his complaint, Karavekar said that the Government had sanctioned two posts of forest watcher and authorised him to make appointments at a fixed salary of Rs. 15,000. The accused officer started pestering him to make two more fake appointments by fabricating documents and fudging the records and pay their salaries (Rs. 30,000) every month to her.
Unable to bear the torture, Karavekar approached the Lokayukta. Based on the complaint, a trap was laid and the accused was arrested. Karavekar also submitted the audio of the phone conversation recording where Poornima is demanding money. She had asked Karavekar to keep Rs. 50,000 in her department official vehicle parked in front of the Aranya Bhavan.
As per the trap plan, the Lokayukta sleuths raided the officer when she was picking up the cash that was kept in the vehicle. The raid was led by Mysuru Division Lokayukta Police Superintendent Suresh Babu, Kodagu Lokayukta Dy.SP Pavan Kumar and team.
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