‘Blackmail attempts foiled, Lokayukta attacker saw red’

BENGALURU:The chargesheet submitted by the Central Crime Branch police revealed that the Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty’s assailant Tejraj Sharma had stabbed him when Sharma lost a source of income. Justice Shetty had closed complaints by Sharma, who had been using them to blackmail furniture dealers and government officials.

Sharma then decided to teach Shetty a lesson, read the chargesheet that lists various charges against Sharma including attempt to murder which attracts imprisonment for life.The chargesheet also stated that Sharma had received `55,000 in cash and `1.71 lakh credited to his bank account from Ashok YM, proprietor of Om Enterprises, who supplies furniture to government departments.

According to the chargesheet accessed by the The New Indian Express, Sharma in his statement dated March 8, 2018 to the investigating officer Jinendra Khanagavi, DCP (Crime-2), CCB, said he went with a knife mainly to scare Lokayukta to reopen his closed complaints but he stabbed him after he became nervous as Shetty threatened to hand him over to the cops.

Further, he stated that he had filed five complaints against 17 officials of six different departments over alleged irregularities in procuring furniture through tenders. Among them, three were closed and two were pending.

He took those closed complaints to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which issued an endorsement stating that those complaints were forwarded to the concerned departments for investigation. Later, said Sharma, “I knocked at the doors of Lokayukta again. Then he said: ‘Why did you come again as I already asked you to file appeal in High Court if you are not satisfied with my orders’. Then I felt that Lokayukta too was cooperating with the corrupt. Then I was confident that there was no justice for me. So I decided to scare him with a knife.”

According to his statements to the investigating officer (IO) on March 13, 2018, Justice Vishwanatha Shetty stated that Tejraj Sharma took out a knife from his shirt, jumped on his table and started stabbing him mercilessly.

Justice Shetty’s reply to Investigation Officer’s (IO) questions
IO: Did he (Tejraj) say anything during his previous visits?
Lokayukta: During his second visit he had murmured “Nimage Devaru Olledu Madalla”. My mistake was as he had told that, I should have called my people. I never expected anybody would harm me as I felt always I do right things to the people. Personally, I am compassionate and sympathetic towards the poorer sections of the society.

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