In what comes as further embarrassment to the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government in Karnataka, an accused in the Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) recruitment scam has filed a complaint alleging that an investigating officer of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) was demanding bribes from him.
RD Patil, the main accused in the PSI recruitment scam, filed his complaint with the Karnataka Lokayukta on Monday, 23 January.
In his one-page letter, RD Patil alleged that CID Deputy Superintendent of Police Shankargouda Patil, who is the investigative officer in the case, had demanded ₹3 crore as a bribe in order to absolve him in the case.
RD Patil, brother of a local Congress leader Mahantesh Patil who was also arrested in the case, was first picked on 23 April, 2022, and was granted bail on 15 December, 2022, by the Kalaburagi bench of the Karnataka High Court.
Police had declared that he was absconding as he fled when they went to question him at his residence on 19 January. RD Patil refuted the allegation that he was absconding in a video released on 21 January.
He subsequently sent his complaint alleging the police were demanding bribes and surrendered in court on the same day, 23 January.
DySp Shankargouda Patil has denied the allegations levelled against him by RD Patil.
‘Paid ₹76 lakh’
“When I refused to give such a huge amount of money to the CID officer, he replied that if I don’t adjust the money, my life ahead will be tough. However, I agreed to meet their demands,” RD Patil wrote in his complaint.
“With the help of my son-in-law Srikanth, I paid ₹76 lakh to the investigation officer. I had also given word that I would pay the remaining amount after I get bail in the case. I am currently out on bail,” Patil said, admitting that he gave a bribe to the investigative officer.
He further said, “CID officer Shankargouda Patil is torturing me to pay the remaining ₹2.24 crore. I am not able to adjust the amount. Then, he threatened to slap more cases on me.”
The accused RD Patil also submitted an audio clip of him purportedly having a telephonic conversation with DySP Patil to the Lokayuktha. He also wrote a letter to Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, ADGP Law and Order Alok Kumar, ADG CID KV Sharath Chandra, and Kalaburagi Police Commission R Chetan.
Patil is facing at least five different cases, filed against him across the state. He surrendered before the Kalaburagi High Court bench on 23 January, in the presence of his lawyer. The court sent him for 14 days of judicial custody.
Congress demands judicial enquiry on PSI scam
AICC general secretary and Member of Rajya Sabha Randeep Singh Surjewala, who is the in-charge of Karnataka Congress, not only demanded a judicial enquiry into RD Patil’s complaint, but also the resignation of Home Minister Araga Jananendra.
Surjewala released the letter written by the PSI scam accused Patil at the Karnataka Congress office on Wednesday, 25 January.
“The principal accused RD Patil has clearly alleged that the investigating officer demanded ₹3 crore bribe and also that ₹76 lakh bribe has allegedly been delivered to the investigating officer. This is a clear attempt to dilute and finish the entire PSI scam,” alleged Surjewala.
He further said, “Initially, they denied the PSI Scam, then they did not investigate the scam. After massive state-wide protests, an investigation was launched and nearly 100 people have been arrested so far.”
“The current episode reflects a sinister design to shut down the PSI scam, to put a lid over it so that the real culprits sitting in the citadels of power — including the former home minister, the current CM Basavaraj Bommai and the Home Minister Jnanendra — is never examined,” added Surjewala.
Bommai Govt has eclipsed the future of #Karnataka’s youth.
The only Job creation is for SCAMSTERS by putting JOBS ON SALE to the highest bidder.
The New Expose in #PSIScam proves that “investigators need to be investigated first”,with needle of suspicion at CM & HM.
Sack HM👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/IAe21xzjbC
— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) January 25, 2023
‘Bommai trying to cover up’
Coming down heavily on the Bommai government, Surjewala said, “We allege that Bommai, his home minister and the political leadership of BJP are deliberately trying to bury and cover up the PSI scam. This government —Bommai and his colleagues — instead of prosecuting the accused, are actually protecting them. They are trying to bury this scam.”
“In these circumstances, no fair investigation can take place. The investigators must be prosecuted first as they are part of this scam. The home minister must resign or he must be sacked. He has no right to continue for even a minute after this letter has come into the public domain,” Surjewala said, demanding the resignation of the home minister.
Appealing for the judicial enquiry, Surjewala said, “This case has to be handed over for the judicial investigation monitored by the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court. It is the only way forward and it has to be completed over the next 90 days. We will pursue this issue till it reaches the logical end.”
“No action has been initiated against the BJP legislator, caught mediating the PSI scam. BJP leader and Vijayapura City MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal accused the seniormost leaders of his own party and their children of being part of this scam, nothing happened,” charged Surjewala.
“Obviously, the sinister conspiracy, the murky dealing and the corruption reach the top political leadership in the state as Yantnal, BJP leader himself alleged.”
“The post of Karnataka chief minister has to be renamed. CM no longer stands for chief minister. It stands for ‘Con Man’ in Karnataka,” Surjewala criticised Bommai.