Three other officials also arrested
Over four months after they registered an FIR against Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner M.K. Aiyappa, the Lokayukta police arrested him on Wednesday along with three other officials on charges of forging records of 32 acres and 27 guntas of government land at Madappanahalli, near the Bengaluru International Airport.
The three other officials are K. Gopalaswamy, special tahsildar, Bangalore North taluk; N. Balakrishnamurthy, revenue inspector, Arakere Circle; and K.V. Ravikumar, sub-registrar of Hesaraghatta, here.
All four were produced before the Special Lokayukta Court that placed them in the custody of the Lokayukta police for 24 hours, ending Thursday evening.
Sources in the Lokayukta police said Mr. Aiyappa was arrested after he refused to cooperate in the investigation. “Asked to appear for enquiry, he had the audacity to say that he would be busy till the end of the year and can come to our office only after that,” said a senior Lokayukta police official.
The case against Mr. Aiyappa was filed before the Special Lokayukta Court in the form of a private complaint by P. Anil Kumar. The court asked the Lokayukta police to file an FIR and investigate the matter, on November 5, 2012.
The Lokayukta found truth in Mr. Anil Kumar’s allegation, and investigation showed that Mr. Aiyappa misused his official position to fabricate revenue documents and transfer the land in the name of Narasimhaiah, an 85-year-old Dalit labourer. Interestingly, the investigation found that Mr. Narasimhaiah was only a front for powerful people, including BJP MLA for Yelahanka S.R. Vishwanath.
Lokayukta police officers said that Mr. Narasimhaiah was a poor man who did not know anything about the scam. “He was asked to come to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and made to sign some documents for which he was paid Rs. 1 lakh,” said an officer. The worth of the property is estimated to be at least Rs. 60 crore. The gains from the trade in this land were to be shared by the other accused. What, however, catches the eye is the impunity with which this illegal act was committed.
“Mr. Aiyappa withdrew his order conferring the titles of the land [in favour of Mr. Narasimhaiah] four times when he got information that local residents were planning to approach the courts and expose the fraud. When the threat of expose died down he again passed the same order,” said an official.