Bengaluru: Bail pleas of Lokayukta graft case accused rejected

Bengaluru, Aug 17 (IANS) A special court on Monday rejected the bail petitions of Ashwin Rao and five co-accused in the Karnataka Lokayukta graft cases.

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Ashwin, 47, son of state Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice V. Bhaskar Rao, has been accused of seeking Rs.1-crore bribe from an executive engineer by threatening registeration of a graft case against him.

Rejecting Ashwin’s bail plea, filed by his counsel Sandeep Patil, judge G.V. Bopaiah extended his judicial custody till August 27 after the prosecution sought more time to interrogate him and the co-accused in the bribery and graft cases.

The bail pleas of all co-accused were also rejected and their judicial remand extended by 10 days till August 27.

Other accused in the case are Lokayukta joint commissioner Sayed Riyaz, RTI activists Shankar Gowda and Srinivasa Gowda and middlemen Ashok Kumar and V. Bhaskar, who have been accused of extortion by many state officials by threatening registeration of graft cases against them and raiding their premises.

Meanwhile, special investigation team (SIT) personnel nabbed Sadiq, a relative of Riyaz, and another accused in the graft cases.

“We have picked up Sadiq from Bhadravathi in Shivamogga district (260 km from here) and brought him to the city for interrogation, as preliminary investigation found him involved in the cases along with Riyaz,” a SIT official told reporters here.

Ashwin was arrested on July 27 from his residence in Hyderabad by an SIT team and Riyaz on July 26 from a private hospital in the city.

In a related development, ombudsman Bhaskar Rao extended his leave till August 31 from Monday and stayed away from attending office. Rao has been on leave since July 28, a day after his son was arrested and brought to Bengaluru.

The SIT, headed by additional director general of police (ADGP) Kamal Pant, was set up by the state government on June 30 on the Lokayukta’s request to probe graft charges against a few unidentified officials of the watchdog and the bribe charge against Ashwin Rao.

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