Bengaluru: Senior IAS officer B.M. Vijayshankar, who was reportedly involved in the multi-crore IMA Ponzi scam, allegedly committed suicide in his house, an official said on Tuesday. He was 59.
"Vijayshakar was found hanging in a room on the first floor of his residence at Jayanagar in the city's southern suburb by his wife late evening," the official told IANS on anonymity.
The incident came to light when Vijayshankar's wife who was in the ground floor, went up to meet him.
The family informed the police and his body was sent to a state-run hospital for autopsy.
Vijayshankar was arrested and jailed after he was allegedly found involved in the multi-crore IMA scam in the city during 2018-19.
"The Karnataka cadre officer was suspended from service when he was Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district after he admitted to have taken Rs 1.5 crore bribe from the IMA scam kingpin Mohammed Mansoor Khan though he alleged to have sought Rs 5 crore from the latter.
The state government revoked Vijayshankar's suspension recently and posted him as Commissioner of the Sakala scheme to provide citizen-related services in a stipulated time.
"The officer was under pressure after he learnt that the state government has permitted the CBI, probing the scam, to interrogate and prosecute him," added the official.
The amended Prevention of Corruption Act mandates the state government's sanction for a criminal inquiry into a government servant.
As the Ponzi scam in the guise of Islamic banking involved investors in other states, with international ramifications, the BJP government transferred the case to the CBI in August from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police.
Khan and 5 directors of I-Monetary Advisory (IMA) were arrested and jailed last year after their alleged involvement in the Rs 4,000-crore scam came to light in June 2019.
The CBI also booked on February 4 two senior IPS-rank officers Ajay Hillori and Hemant Nimbalkar of the Karnataka cadre for their alleged role in the Ponzi scam that rocked the southern state last year.
"Though the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) alerted the state government and the city police about the illegal activities of the IMA group, including raising illegal deposits from investors through cash or gold jewellery, assuring them hefty interest and returns on maturity, no action was taken against the company for allegedly indulging in the criminal act," a CBI official told IANS earlier, citing the FIR against the accused.
The premier investigation agency has accused Nimbalkar of allowing IMA to carry out its illegal business by giving it a clean chit to carry on its business during his tenure as IGP in CID.
Similarly, Hillori was accused of ignoring the central bank's warnings and furthering the interests of Khan at the expense of innocent investors and depositors.