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HomekarnatakaKarnataka Deputy Director of Agriculture caught accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe

Karnataka Deputy Director of Agriculture caught accepting Rs 1 lakh bribe

Mangaluru: The Deputy Director of Agriculture was caught red-handed by Lokayukta personnel on Saturday while accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh.

Bharathamma allegedly demanded a bribe for clearing a bill on the amount utilised for procuring saplings for planting under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana in Bantwal taluk. The complainant Paramesh N P was serving as RFO in the forest department and was on deputation at the watershed department, agriculture department and had retired from service on August 31.

During his service, he had planted saplings worth Rs 50,00,000 under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana across various villages. He had procured horticulture saplings worth Rs 18 lakh from private nurseries and forest saplings worth Rs 32 lakh from forest contractors. The saplings were procured in advance for plantation purposes, the complainant informed.

Accordingly, Rs 50 lakh was pending to be paid for saplings supplied by nursery owners and contractors. Thus the complainant had met Bharathamma on October 4 and had appealed to her to clear the bill amount. But Bharathamma had demanded 15 per cent of the total bill amount as a bribe to clear the bill. On October 20, the complainant once again visited her to enquire on the bill and she then reduced the bribe amount to Rs 1 lakh.

He subsequently filed a complaint with Lokayukta. “Bharathamma was arrested and will be produced before the court,” Lokayukta Superintendent of Police C A Simon said. The raid was carried out under the guidance of Lokayukta SP, DySP Kalavathi, Chaluvaraju B, Inspector Suresh Kumar P and other personnel.

(Published 22 October 2023, 02:15 IST)

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