Mohan Kumar works in Backward Classes Minister C Puttaranga Shetty’s office and was caught with the cash at Vidhana Soudha.
An official working in the office of Karnataka Backward Classes Minister C Puttaranga Shetty, was sent to three-day police custody after he was formally arrested on Tuesday by the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Mohan Kumar is a contract employee working in the minister’s office as a stenographer and was found to be in possession of over Rs 25 lakh in unaccounted cash.
Mohan Kumar was caught by the police with Rs 25.7 lakh unaccounted cash in a brown bag at Vidhana Soudha on January 4. He was stopped by police when he allegedly tried to escape on his bike. The case was transferred to the ACB from the Vidhana Soudha police on the next day.
Since January 5, his home was raided by ACB officials, which led to the seizure of a hard drive and some property related documents.
“He had given us a statement when we arrested him that the money was given to him by various contractors, which he was to give to the minister. He claims that he was only following orders,” an ACB official said, on condition of anonymity.
“We requested custody so we can question him based on what we found in the hard drive and the documents. We had requested for 6-day custody but the court granted only 3-day custody. Now his lawyers are saying that he had brought the money to Vidhana Soudha as he was going to buy a property later in the day. They are arguing that there is no rule against bringing money to Vidhana Soudha. We intend to determine what exactly happened that day,” the ACB source added.
While Mohan Kumar said that he borrowed the money from five different friends to buy a property, he could not substantiate his claim. Instead, investigations have reportedly suggested that the money was a kickback from a contractor in connection with a road work.
The incident has naturally embarrassed the ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition government with the opposition BJP even asking for the minister’s resignation. The minister, however, claimed to be unaware about the incident.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy also issued a statement saying that the government will not interfere in the investigations.
“Let them hold a transparent and fair inquiry. I am not the kind of a person who is going to influence any investigating agency. We will wait for the investigation to complete and take a decision based on the investigation report,” the CM had said