Bangalore, Jan 6: The senior IAS officer who allegedly sought sexual favours from a widow has been identified as D K Rangaswamy, currently serving as Mass Education department director, according to Lokayukta documents in the possession of Deccan Herald.
The disclosure comes in the wake of Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde’s revelation last week that the State Government was shielding a top bureaucrat who had demanded sexual favours from a young widow when he was Deputy Commissioner of Ramanagaram district in 2007.
Following Justice Hedge’s contention, Deccan Herald applied for the documents pertaining to the case under the Right to Information Act.
According to a May 8, 2009, letter the Lokayukta wrote to then Chief Secretary Sudhakar Rao, “the allegation made against him (Rangaswamy), if true, is very serious, which includes apart from other complaints, deliberately passing erroneous orders against (the complainant), as also serious acts of misconduct of misbehaving with the complainant who happens to be a widow.”
Justice Santosh Hedge’s letter says that an April 4, 2008, order of the High Court, which the woman, identified as R Yamini, had moved, had “felt it is not necessary for it to go into the (the) other allegations” (of seeking sexual favours) which was a matter “to be looked into by the competent authority.”
The High Court had, however, set aside Rangaswamy’s order on an issue arising out of a land dispute relating to the widow.
A November 17, 2007, report of former Revenue Department Principal Secretary S M Jaamdar addressed to then Chief Secretary P B Mahishi claims that “Rangaswamy, as alleged by the complainant, was apparently in the habit of going to Smt Yamini’s house and also frequently contacting her over mobile and landline phones. She has stored quite a few messages in her mobile, some of which she could display even now.”
More revealingly, the same letter says that as DC Bangalore (Rural), Rangaswamy and the woman’s husband “jointly” did “some land-related business as revealed in several points of allegations Smt herself made and admitted in her petition.” When her husband was admitted to the ICU after meeting with an accident, in which he subsequently died, Rangaswamy “even went to Kolluru Mookambika to perform pooja for improvement in the condition of Sri Shashi Kumar for which Mrs Yamini has produced sufficient evidence.”
As DC, Rangaswamy abused his position in such a way, suggests Jaamdar’s report, that he converted a kharab (barren) land to cultivable land between October 10, 2007, and October 16, 2007, granted it to her on payment of Rs 3 lakh per acre and without charging her the price of land, which was stated to be Rs 10 lakh per acre.
By this Rangaswamy caused a loss of Rs 31.5 lakh to the government.
On October 16, 2007, he issued notice asking the woman to pay Rs 31.5 lakh towards the value of 1.2 acres of land granted to her and hours later he stayed his own order by passing another order. The woman then obtained a stay order from the HC against the DC’s order.
Jaamdar concluded in his report: “Being the deputy commissioner of the district, his (Rangaswamy’s) conduct as per details above is unbecoming and criminal. He should be transferred immediately and also placed under suspension and regular departmental inquiry should be started against him.”
In his May 8, 2009, missive to Sudhakar Rao, the Lokayukta pointed out that an attempt was being made by some senior officers of the state government to protect Rangaswamy.
Asked why in his recommendation to the government he did not specify charges against Rangaswamy, Justice Hedge said: “I have gone by the complainant’s version and I have recommended to the government to hold a departmental inquiry against Rangaswamy. It is up to the government to take further action. I do not have the authority to hold an inquiry against an IAS or a KAS officer.”
Yamini wanted some land which were in her dead husband’s name to be transferred to her. When she approached Rangaswamy for the paper work, he had allegedly said that her husband had illegally occupied government land.
He also allegedly sought sexual favours.
Justice Hegde said he wrote to Jaamdar who had recommended a departmental inquiry against Rangaswamy. After Jaamdar’s demitted office, the case went to the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms which too favoured a departmental enquiry. But curiously enough, Jaamdar’s successor had recommended to the DP&AR to promote Rangaswamy on the ground that there was sufficient evidence to take action against him.
When contacted, Jaamdar said he had dealt with the complaints pertaining to illegal land records Rangaswamy had prepared. “I had also recommended his suspension. Eventually he got a promotion,” he said.