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K’taka raids: Relief for Ex-Dy CM as nephew bails him out

The income tax department had raided several places linked to Parameshwara on Friday and till early Saturday.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 14, 2019, 11.32 AM IST
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Income Tax raid at the residence of Congress leader, G Parameshwara at Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru
BENGALURU: Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka deputy chief minister G Parameshwara may not encounter any immediate political issues as a result of the income-tax raids on two medical colleges controlled by his family, as investigators said his nephew had accepted responsibility for certain undisclosed cash transactions.

Parameshwara is the chancellor of the two medical colleges — Sri Siddhartha Medical College and Sri Siddhartha Academy of Higher Education — both in Tumakuru district. He is also the chairman of the Trust that runs the two colleges. The income-tax department had raided several places linked to Parameshwara on Friday and till early Saturday, as part of a probe into alleged money transactions related to medical admissions.

GS Anand, the Congress leader’s nephew and a governing body member of the colleges, has signed a confessional statement in a bid to absolve his uncle of the responsibilities in connection with recent medical admissions, an I-T official told ET.

Parameshwara had on Saturday said he did not know much about the admission process because he was preoccupied with politics, and kept himself away from the day-to-day operations of the educational institutions. He had also distanced himself from the political colour his party sought to attach to the raids, signalling a conciliatory approach to the tax investigations.

Anand’s statement may help the Congress leader in the near term, but what will happen in the long term depends on how the investigations play out and the new angles that may emerge.

The I-T department has alleged that three medical colleges (people associated with the Devaraj Urs Medical College in Kolar district, controlled by the family members of the former minister RL Jalappa, were raided too) affiliated to two deemed universities in Karnataka allegedly collected between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 65 lakh per medical seat. The I-T investigation wing plans to write to all agencies tasked with overseeing medical admissions, alerting about a seat-surrender racket, the official said. Other regulators and government agencies are expected to take the probe forward, and force the government to tighten the regulations.

I-T department officials told ET that they had issued summons to Parameshwara to appear before them for questioning on Tuesday. The Congress leader said he was open to providing clarifications to specific queries from the investigators.

The I-T officials said they neither took any signed statement from Ramesh MS, the Congress leader’s PA who was found dead on Saturday, nor did they secure a warrant in his name as they did not find a need to probe him after studying his bank transactions and assets in his name. The officials said Ramesh was present in the Congress leader’s house until they left at 3:00 am on Saturday, and he did not show any unusual behaviour.

The investigators said the two colleges controlled by Parameshwara’s family accounted for much of the 185 admissions made under management quota seats after as many students surrendered the merit seats they had secured in the all-India single-window seat selection process based on their NEET ranks.

I-T officials conducted simultaneous raids at several places in Karnataka and Delhi, including on the residence Parameshwara and the medical colleges controlled by him, until Saturday morning in connection with large volumes of allegedly undisclosed cash transactions in medical admissions.The I-T department investigators have estimated the size of the scam in medical admissions in Karnataka at about Rs 125 crore.

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