It now emerges that the Vyalikaval House Building Cooperative Society — recently in the news for the illegal allotment of a large plot to the former Lokayukta Shivaraj Patil's wife — has contravened the law yet again.
Documents made available to The Hindu establish that the society entered into a private joint venture to construct a luxury apartment building on land sold to the society by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) at subsidised rates specifically for a public purpose.
The apartments were bought by the rich and politically connected. Davalagiri Properties Ltd., the controversial company owned by the sons and son-in-law of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, has been allotted a 3,696 sq ft penthouse. Other prominent residents who bought apartments include Labour Minister Bache Gowda's daughter, Shilpa Gowda; Arvind Jatti, son of the former Vice-President the late B.D. Jatti; and Vasundharadevi M. Ghorpade, wife of the former Minister and mine owner from Bellary M.Y. Ghorpade.
Even as thousands of genuine members wait endlessly for allotments, these privileged individuals were made out-of-turn allotments by making them members of the society at the time of the purchase, a clear contravention of the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959.
On January 12, 1989, the Vyalikaval HBCS was sold 2 acres and 2 guntas of land in Survey number 54/2 in RMV Second Stage by the BDA at a throwaway price of Rs. 3.5 lakh an acre. The condition was that the land should be used for a “public purpose” and plots be allotted “only to the members of the society” failing which the allotment would be cancelled.
This land was purchased from money collected from members. Violating the conditions in the BDA sale deed, the society entered into a joint development agreement with Vaishnavi Infrastructure Private Ltd. on June 25, 2007 for construction of 88 luxury apartments to be named ‘Vaishnavi Splendour'. As per the agreement, the society sold 67 per cent of this land to the developer. The sale deed clearly states that the land is to be allotted for site formation only.
However, the Department of Cooperation approved the joint development agreement for construction of luxury apartments even without a no-objection certificate from the BDA.
The plush apartments hit the open market in 2010. Managing Director of Vaishnavi Infrastructure Private Ltd. C.N. Govindaraju confirmed to this reporter that purchasers of the flats were made members of the society at the time of sale. He also added that what all had been done was as per law.
The 33 per cent share of apartments that the society received as per the agreement, are not being sold to legitimate members, sale deeds available with The Hindu establish.
Significantly, members of the society are completely in the dark on the transactions between the society and Vaishnavi Infrastructure.
Some members who spoke to this reporter said they are not even aware that Vaishnavi Splendour was built on society land. “The name of the society is not mentioned anywhere. So, I thought it was a project by a private developer,” said Gurunath (54), a deprived member.
K.V. Ananthapadmanabha, secretary of the society at the time, said all transactions were done “as per law” and the government had given its seal of approval. Attempts to contact Mr. Bache Gowda and Mr. Yeddyurappa in this connection proved futile.