The lok ayukta special court directed lok ayukta sleuths to investigate the private complaint registered against the Karnataka chief minister regarding allegations of corruption in land deals.
In a major development on Thursday, the lok ayukta special court directed lok ayukta sleuths to investigate the private complaint registered (PCR) against chief minister BS Yeddyurappa regarding allegations of corruption in land deals. The court also assigned the probe into a similar case against home minister R Ashoka to the lok ayukta police.
The court directed Lokayukta police to complete the investigation and file a report within six weeks, before May 4. Additional city civil and sessions court judge CB Hipparagi issued the orders on Thursday.
“The PCR is referred to the Lokayukta police under provisions of Section 202 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The Lokayukta superintendent of the city will investigate the PCR,” the order said, in connection with the first of five complaints against the chief minister.
CH Hanumantharaya, advocate for the complainant, said that the court’s orders relate to the first complaint against chief minister Yeddyurappa. Four other complaints filed by the same complainants are set to be heard on Friday.
Five private complaints were filed by advocates Sirajin Basha and KN Balaraj against Yeddyurappa and others. The complaints were filed after governor HR Bhardwaj granted permission to prosecute the chief minister over allegations of corruption in land deals.
Hanumantharaya said that the court has recorded the statement from the complainant and also from one witness, in connection with the first PCR.
Hanumantharaya welcomed the court’s orders, and said that the Lokayukta would find this a good opportunity to investigate the involvement of bureaucrats in the land scam, so that first information reports (FIRs) could be filed against other accused too.
Complainant Basha also welcomed the court’s orders, and claimed that it was an indicator of the seriousness of the complaint, and the veracity of the allegations.
Meanwhile, the lok ayukta police said an FIR would be filed soon, and investigations would proceed as directed by the court.
Lokayukta justice Santosh Hegde said, “Our police will take up the issue and complete investigations as early as possible. Enough evidence has already been collected, and we are capable of meeting the deadline of May 4. Lokayukta police SP Madhukar Shetty is currently on leave. Once he returns, the investigation will be taken up and completed as early as possible.”
“We will try our best to complete the investigation before May 4. If we feel the need for more time, we will seek an extension from the court,” said RK Datta, additional director-general of police, lok ayukta.
The first case against the CM
Thursday’s orders of the additional city civil and sessions court pertain to the first case against the chief minister, alleging that the chief minister and members of his family withdrew the orders of acquisition of lands in Rachenahalli, survey No. 55/2, illegally, by entering into criminal conspiracy.
The complaint alleges that 1 acre 12 guntas of land (one gunta is 1/40th of an acre) were denotified, even though the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had issued a preliminary notification for acquisition of the land.
The complaint alleges that Krishnaiah Setty, who served as an MLA in 2003, entered into a general power of attorney agreement with the land owners, and submitted an application on behalf of the land owners seeking denotification of the land on September 13, 2008, although he knew that the land was under acquisition process of BDA, which was creating the Arkavathy Layout.
The denotification order was passed by the chief minister on November 3, 2008.
The complaint alleges that the entire process of denotification was done at the behest of the chief minister’s sons and son-in-law, abusing the official powers of the CM, and causing a loss to the public exchequer to the tune of Rs19.6 crore.
The complaint alleges that the accused persons got one acre and six guntas in survey No. 56 of the same village. Even this land was part of what was to be acquired by the BDA for the Arkavathy Layout; this land too was denotified in favour of Krishnaiah Setty.
The complaint also alleges that the chief minister committed criminal breach of trust, making illegal amalgamation of a public road, measuring 47,972 square feet, out of housing sites in Vyalikaval House Building Co-operative Society in Nagavara Layout, thus benefiting Davalagiri Properties and Developers Private Limited, run by members of the chief minister’s family.