20 locations in Mysore and Bangalore of Ramdas and Krishnaiah Setty covered

Offices and residences of two former Ministers S.A. Ramdas and S.N. Krishnaiah Setty were searched by the Income Tax officials in connection with their dealings with two Bangalore-based cooperative societies.

The searches were conducted in about 20 locations across Mysore and Bangalore by about 150 income tax officials. The operation began around 8 a.m. and was still continuing at the time of going to press. Documents have been seized, an official confirmed without elaborating.

While Mr. Ramdas, who was Minister for Medical Education in the BJP Government, lost from Krishnaraja Assembly constituency in Mysore in the May 2013 Assembly elections, Mr. Setty, who was a Housing Minister in the same government, had to quit after allegations surfaced against him in a scam involving the Karnataka Housing Board. He quit the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections after being denied ticket.

Housing layouts

Sources said that Mr. Ramdas’s brother, Srikantdas, is involved in development of residential layouts through his S.S. Infrastructure. Mr. Setty’s firm, Balaji Krupa Enterprises, also develops housing layouts. Thursday’s searches pertain to their involvement in developing layouts for cooperative societies, including the Karnataka Telecom Department Employees Cooperative Society and the Ministry of Communication Employees Cooperative Society, the sources said.

“These societies were meant to benefit the employees of the department but sites are sold to associate members. In one society, while there are 1,500 members, the number of associate members is 18,500,” a senior official said on the condition of anonymity. Long after their objectives have been met, these societies continue to function as commercial entities, the sources said and added that they had developed over 2,000 acres for residential layouts.

The dealings in these societies are being investigated as they are among the biggest such cooperatives operating in the State, the official said.

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