IMA scam: Govt official for allegedly accepting bribe

In his report, LC Nagaraj, who was appointed as the Competent Authority to test the fraudulent activities of IMA, gave Mansoor Khan a smooth chit. The Special Investigation Team investigating the Ponzi scam perpetrated by IMA arrested a Bengaluru North subdivision assistant commissioner and a village accountant on Friday to assist IMA founder Mansoor Khan in obtaining a no objection certificate (NOC) in return for a Rs 4.5 crore bribe.

LC Nagaraj, Assistant Commissioner and Manjunath Village Accountant, was detained on charges of allowing Mansoor Khan to receive the NOC he required for a loan. SIT sources claim Nagaraj said he had attempted to take action against Mansoor Khan by issuing several notices to the sleuths during the inquiry. The probe disclosed, however, that Nagaraj reportedly misused his position and requested a Rs 4.5 crore bribe in return for an NOC and an IMA-favored report.

SIT sources say Nagaraj was appointed as the competent authority by the state government to prove the tip-off received from Reserve Bank of India that Mansoor Khan and IMA were conducting fraudulent activities.

Soon after being appointed to the Competent Authority in June 2018, Nagaraj issued a public announcement in newspapers seeking information on irregularities from IMA investors. However, Nagaraj submitted a report to the state government in February 2019 stating that Mansoor Khan and IMA did not conduct fraudulent activities. SIT sources claim Nagaraj supposedly wrote a report in favor of Khan, so the Department of Revenue would have no issue issuing him an NOC.

Nagaraj was taken from the Karnataka High Court on Friday. SIT sleuths picked up Nagaraj, who was at trial for a case, who said they wished to question him. Dressed in plainclothes, Nagaraj was intercepted by the sleuths in the cafeteria of the High Court. The SIT also raided the residence of Nagaraj.

Village accountant Manjunath was also detained by SIT sleuths for supposedly assisting Nagaraj in the Mansoor Khan transaction.

“The cash was delivered in three Rs 1.5 crore instalments each. One of the IMA staff met Manjunath at a coffee shop and handed the cash over, “said a SIT representative.

Nagaraj is the second official in the IMA case to be detained. Last week, BDA chief engineer PD Kumar Nayak was detained by the SIT for supposedly accepting a Mansoor Khan Rs 4 crore bribe. PD Nayak allegedly helped IMA get a Revenue Department clean chit after the business came under the lens of the RBI. Nayak supposedly took Khan’s cash, saying he had to give it to a senior IAS officer who had earlier served as BDA chairman.

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