Alleged VIP treatment in B’luru jail: Sasikala files quash petition

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Alleged VIP treatment in B’luru jail: Sasikala files quash petition 

Bengaluru: V.K. Sasikala Natarajan, AIADMK ex-general secretary and close associate of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, has filed a petition in the Karnataka High Court to quash the case against her in connection with alleged VIP treatment to her and her aide J. Ilavarasi in the Central Prison of Parappana Agrahara in Bengaluru.

The bench headed by Justice M. Nagaprasanna looking into the matter has served a notice to the Lokayukta police and adjourned the matter to June 28 on Monday. Sasikala Natarajan in her petition claimed that she has been made the victim in the case and she is innocent.

The petition states that due to the prestige fight between senior IPS officers of Karnataka, Satyanarayana Rao and Roopa Moudgil, they were made accused in the case. IPS officer Roopa alleged that the petitioner was getting VIP treatment in the prison following which a probe was conducted as per the order of the government.

The committee headed by IAS officer Vinay Kumar submitted a report in this regard on October 21, 2017. The state government accepted the report on February 26, 2018. The report has not found any evidence or substantiating factor to defend the charges made under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the petitioner claimed.

The High Court has already quashed the case against Krishna Kumar, B. Suresh and Gajaraja Makanur, the other accused in the case who are government servants. “This makes the legal proceedings against the petitioner against the law,” stated the petitioner and requested the court to quash the case which is before the Lokayukta Special Court.

Sasikala was lodged in jail in 2017 after being convicted by the Supreme Court in a disproportionate assets case.

It was alleged that Sasikala was allowed to wear personal clothes and was given a cook. A pressure cooker and spices were found in her cell. She was also provided a separate visitor’s room and the corridor in the jail was barricaded for her. Sasikala was allowed free movement.

The CCTV footage showed Sasikala talking to a visitor for four hours, and footage also showed Sasikala and Ilavarasi moving out of their block holding a bag, sources said.

The investigation was ordered by then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. In her report, IPS officer Roopa mentioned that there was a talk that Rs 2 crore had exchanged hands to ensure the preferential treatment to Sasikala, and she also claimed that there were allegations against her senior officer, then DGP Prisons Satyanarayana Rao also.

The development had caused severe embarrassment to the Siddaramaiah government. Later, an inquiry was ordered and the government transferred both officers.

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