“IAS officers T.N. Chikkarayappa and S.C. Jayachandra have been suspended with immediate effect in connection with the income tax raids on them and seizure of Rs 6 crore in cash, 7 kg of bullion and 9 kg of gold jewellery from their houses,” Home Minister G. Parameshwara told the legislative council, which is meeting at Belagavi.
Chikkarayappa is the Managing Director of the state-run Cauvery Neeravari Nigam (Irrigation Corporation) and Jayachandra Chief Project Officer of the state highway development project in the state Public Works Department.
Though the duo belongs to the state cadre, they were promoted and elevated to the IAS.
Of the Rs 6 crore cash haul, Rs 4.7 crore were in the new Rs 2,000 denomination, Rs 30 lakh old Rs 500 notes and Rs 1 crore in bundles of Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs 10.
“The local investigation directorate initiated a search action against the two officers in Bengaluru, in which the new notes, bullion and gold jewellary were found in exchange of demonetised notes by payment of commission,” said senior tax officer Alex Mathew in the statement here on Thursday.
Accepting the oppositions’ demand for their suspension, Paremeshwara said the government would decide the next course of action against them after investigation and getting information from the IT department.
“None will be protected and the guilty will be punished in accordance with the law,” he said, but refuted the opposition charge that the two officers were close aides of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and PWD Minister H.C. Mahadevappa.
Wondering how so much money had reached their homes, he said the tax department should find out from where they got the new currency, which were issued by only banks.
“How they got the cash and from which bank? The IT department should probe and take action against all involved in it,” he said.
The 10-day winter session of the state legislature is being held since November 21 at Belagavi.