Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Roopa was on Thursday served with a legal notice by transferred Karnataka Director General of Police (DGP) HN Satyanarayana Rao, who asked her to either apologise for the controversial report on the alleged special treatment being given to AIADMK (Amma) leader VK Sasikala in jail, or face a Rs 50 crore defamation suit.
The notice, dated July 16, 2017 refers to allegations made by Roopa against Rao. Roopa alleged that she had heard that convict V K Sasikala was being allowed extra privileges in Central Jail, Parappana Agrahara, and a bribe of Rs 2 crore was involved in the irregularities.
Roopa had dragged Rao also in the matter claiming he was one of the beneficiaries of the Rs 2 crore bribe paid by Sasikala. She was eventually shifted from the prisons department to the traffics department but she continues to stand by what she said.
Rao denied all allegations made by Roopa and asked her to tender an unconditional apology within three days of receiving the notice, failing which he will file criminal and civil suits for defamation, for Rs 50 crore.
"You (D Roopa) are required to get an apology duly published in all leading newspapers in the next three days, failing which, I will be constrained to initiate appropriate legal proceedings both civil and criminal, against you to recover damages from you and the same is quantified as Rs. 50 crore tentatively," Rao said in the notice issued to Roopa, a copy of which is with PTI.
"You claim that you have taken pictures of irregularities inside the prison. But you have not taken the picture of Sasikala's separate kitchen and other royal facilities, which are the prime subject of your allegations. You could not take pictures because nothing like that existed," Rao's notice stated.
Roopa grabbed headlines when she, in a report, said that AIADMK leader VK Sasikala availed VIP treatment in the Parappana Agrahara Central prison by bribing jail officials.
The notice said that DIG Roopa tried to "damage the integrity and reputation of Sathyanarayan Rao," which according to law comes under defamation. The notice also said that Rao will also be approaching the concerned Income Tax Department to find out the source from where the "alleged Rs. 2 crore were mobilised."
"I will be approaching the concerned in the income tax department to find out the source from where the alleged Rs. 2 crore was mobilised, who carried it, who is its recipient and where is it stored, so that the guilty of various provisions of tax laws are brought to book," he said.
Roopa was transferred to the Traffic department following her revelations around alleged irregularities in the Bengaluru prison where Sasikala is housed in a disproportionate assets case.
Soon after her allegations came out in the media, the state government affected a large-scale reshuffle of officials in the state. 32 prisoners were also shifted to other parts of the state in a midnight transfer.