Bengaluru, June 20:
The Karnataka Lokayukta police has filed three graft cases against former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for allegedly freeing from government control prime land in and around the city during his tenure (2008-11) against norms.
“The first information reports (FIRs) have been registered against Yeddyrurappa under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint by a civic activist (Jayakumar Hiremath), based on the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the issue,” a Lokyukta official told IANS on Saturday.
The voluminous CAG report on “Denotification of lands by government and allotment of sites by BDA (Bangalore Development Authority)” was tabled in the Karnataka legislative assembly in 2012 when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was the ruling party.
Yeddyurappa, who is the BJP’s national vice-president, resigned as chief minister on July 31, 2011 following his indictment by then Ombudsman Justice N. Santosh Hegde in the multi-crore mining scam in the state during the former’s tenure.
Yeddyurappa represents the Shimoga parliamentary constituency in Malnad region, about 3,100km from Bengaluru.
According to the CAG report, denotifications of about 40 lands were issued between 2007-2012 when Janatal Dal-Secular (JD-S) lawmaker H.D. Kumaraswamy was former chief minister of the JD-S-BJP coalition government in 2006-07 and Yeddyurappa’s tenure from May 2008 till July 2011.
“Yeddyurappa is the first accused along with four officials of the state urban development department, BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) and land owners, as the former was in-charge of the ministry (urban development) during his tenure,” the official noted.
The acres of lands freed from the state control are located across the city’s suburbs, causing unspecified amount of loss to the exchequer, as they were transacted later at less than the guidance value and market rate.
“Though Hiremath went to the Karnataka High Court in 2013, seeking a CBI probe into the illegal land deals, the high court directed him to first approach the Lokayukta, as the anti-graft body was the right forum for complaints and investigation,” the official recalled. (IANS)