A first information report (FIR) has been registered against 30 people — including former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, former Union external affairs minister SM Krishna, former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) managing director Ashok Kheny and some IAS officers — for their alleged role in the irregularities relating to the NICE project.
The project aims to construct a tolled expressway connecting Bangalore and Mysore.
Additional director general of police (Lokayukta) HN Sathyanarayan Rao told DNA that the Lokayukta police registered the FIR on Saturday against 30 people as per the direction of the Lokayukta court.
On October 25, the court had directed the Lokayukta police to register an FIR and get the case investigated by a special team consisting of deputy superintendents of police (DySPs). The complainant, social activist TJ Abraham, had filed a petition against 105 people, accusing them of illegal land-grabbing and illegal toll collection on NICE Road. He alleged that the accused had ‘looted’ 5,972 acres of land for the project.
Judge NK Sudhindra Rao passed the order for initiating a probe against 30 people including three former CMs (HD Deve Gowda, SM Krishna, BS Yeddyurappa), NICE MD Ashok Kheny, PWD minister CM Udasi, former ministers DK Shivakumar and RV Deshpande, and many former bureaucrats and entrepreneurs associated with the project over the years.
Rao said he has formed a team of six sleuths, including three DySPs and three police inspectors. “The NICE project was implemented in three districts,” Rao said. “So, I have formed a team which represents Lokayukta police officers from all these districts. We have registered a case under the provisions of various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The team will investigate the allegations and submit a detailed report before the court.”
The investigation team will be headed by Lokayukta DySP (Bangalore city) Palakshaiah. The team has two more DySPs: Lokesh from Banaglore Rural Lokayukta and Nijamuddeen from Ramanagaram district Lokayukta police. Three police inspectors each from Bangalore city, rural and Ramanagaram district will assist in the investigation.