SIT questions former Karnataka minister Nagendra in ST Development Corporation scam

Nagendra had resigned on 6 June after the corporation's Accounts Superintendent Chandrasekharan P died by suicide on 26 May.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 09, 2024 | 7:18 PM Updated Jul 10, 2024 | 11:46 AM

Former Karnataka Minister B Nagendra.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Tuesday, 9 July, questioned former minister B Nagendra in connection with the illegal diversion of money from Karnataka State Valmiki ST Development Corporation (KMVSTDC).

Nagendra had resigned on 6 June after the corporation’s Accounts Superintendent Chandrasekharan P died by suicide on 26 May. Nagendra, who held the scheduled tribes’ welfare portfolio, was questioned for over five hours.

Meanwhile, two audio clips purportedly of a conversation between two suspended Corporation officials allegedly related to the transaction of money, have gone viral.

Reacting to it, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar said he has no information about the audio.

He, however, said the inquiry is underway and there is no interference with it.

“We have given a free hand to the investigation team,” Shivakumar added that already the minister has resigned from his position and the truth will come out soon.

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Developments in the case

The illegal money transfer case came to light after P Chandrashekar — accounts superintendent at the Corporation — died by suicide, alleging in his suicide note that some officials pressured him to transfer crores of money to an unofficial account.

In the six-page suicide note accessed by South First, he had levelled corruption allegations to the tune of ₹88 crore against the KMVSTDC’s Managing Director, Accountant and Union Bank of India’s MG Road branch manager.

It revealed the unauthorised transfer of ₹187 crore belonging to the corporation from its bank account, and out of that ₹88.62 crore was illegally moved to various accounts allegedly belonging to “well-known” IT companies and a Hyderabad-based cooperative bank.

Two FIRs have been registered following Chandrashekar’s death. The first was against the three people named in his death note, and the second was against six bank officials for the alleged fraud.

The note revealed the unauthorised transfer of ₹187 crore belonging to the Corporation from its bank account, and from that, ₹88.62 crore was illegally moved to various accounts allegedly belonging to “well-known” IT companies and a Hyderabad-based cooperative bank.

Chandrashekhar had named the Corporation’s now suspended Managing Director JG Padmanabh, accounts officer Parashuram G Durugannavar, and Union Bank of India Chief Manager Suchismita Rawal in the note, while also stating that the “minister” had issued oral orders for transferring the funds.

The state government last week constituted a SIT headed by Manish Kharbikar, Additional Director General of Police, Economic Offences, at the CID in Bengaluru, to conduct the probe.

The CBI took up the probe into the case on 5 June after Union Bank of India filed a formal complaint with the central agency in connection with the embezzlement of public money.

However, Home Minister G Parameshwara said the Cabinet will take a call on handing over to CBI investigation covering the state government departments linked to the case, once it gets a formal request from the central agency.

(With PTI inputs)

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