Collected cash from civil contractors, claims Puttarangashetty’s clerk

Bengaluru: Karnataka Backward Class Welfare Minister’s office clerk, S G Mohan Kumar, from whom Rs 25.76 lakh was confiscated at the Vidhana Soudha here, has claimed that he had collected the money from four civil contractors.

Mohan Kumar, who was deputed to the office of C Puttarangashetty, was not only a typist but was also functioning as the minister’s personal assistant. He was arrested on 4 January by the Vidhana Soudha police.

Police investigation revealed that on 3 January he had collected Rs 3.6 lakh from one Ananthu in the Secretariat and kept it in the office. The next day, he had collected Rs 15.9 lakh from Nandu, a contractor, near the legislator’s house; Rs 2 lakh from Srinidhi near the Karnataka High Court and Rs 4.26 lakh from contractor Krishnamurthy in the Secretariat.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has been assigned to probe the matter, and it carried out searches at his residences on Tuesday. In a statement, it said that hard disk and certain documents have been seized.

Puttarangashetty has denied any link with the case, and said he was not in Bengaluru when the cash was seized. He has also added that a detailed investigation into the incident would reveal the truth.

The seizure of cash has created a major controversy with the opposition BJP and a senior leader of the ruling coalition partner JD(s) demanding the resignation of the Congress minister.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has said in a statement that he never interferes in a police probe to protect anyone.

NT Bureau