The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Friday recommended an inquiry by an “independent investigating agency such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)” against the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa for alleged irregularities in denotification of land and the transfer of funds to a trust managed by his family members.
Following an interlocutory application filed by Dharwad-based Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS) for a CBI inquiry into the irregularities in the denotification of land, the apex court had asked the CEC to recommend whether a CBI inquiry was required.
In its report, the CEC suggested that an investigating agency should “delve into the matter in depth and in a time-bound manner”. The investigating agency may also be directed to investigate other similar cases, if any, of land denotified by the Bangalore Development Authority.
Reacting to the development, Mr. Yeddyurappa maintained that CEC's recommendation was not final. He expressed confidence that he would be acquitted of the charges. He told presspersons here that the CEC was only a recommendatory body. “Ultimately it is the Supreme Court that has to take a decision whether to accept the CEC's recommendation, and I am confident of getting justice.”
With regard to the Rachenahalli land case, the CEC said that purchase of the land notified for acquisition, its denotification from acquisition, permission granted for conversion from agricultural to non-agricultural purposes and subsequent sale to South West Mining Ltd. “prima facie involves serious violations of the relevant Acts and procedural lapses and prima facie misuse of office”, enabling close relatives of the former Chief Minister to make “windfall profits and raises grave issues relating to undue favour, ethics and morality”.
The CEC suggested that the court direct the investigating agency to look into links, if any, between donations made by South West Mining Ltd. and the alleged receipt of illegal minerals by JSW Steel, and the alleged undue favour shown to it in respect of mining leases of Mysore Minerals Ltd.