Acting on the orders of the Special Lokayukta Court, the Lokayukta police on Friday conducted searches at eight places belonging to Baburao Chinchanasur, Congress MLA from Gurmitkal in Gulbarga district.
The searches revealed that the former Minister owns 116.74 acres of prime agricultural land, most of which is located within the limits of Gulbarga city and some in neighbouring Bidar district. The searches also unearthed two houses, four factories and two colleges in addition to cash, bank accounts, luxury cars and other valuables.
The raids were a result of a private complaint filed on August 22, 2012 before the Special Lokayukta Court in Bangalore by RTI activist Shantappa. He had alleged that Mr. Chinchanasur had amassed wealth to the tune of Rs. 12.92 crore, most of which he had withheld in his declarations before the Lokayukta and the Election Commission. Admitting his complaint, Lokayukta judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao had ordered the Lokayukta police to register and FIR against the MLA and submit an investigation report.
An interesting facet of the Lokayukta’s press note, containing details of the properties recovered, was the approximate value of the properties.
For instance, the Lokayukta valued 7.3 acres of land in Kawalga village, which is within Gulbarga town limits, at Rs. 5,000. A larger plot measuring 17.18 acres in Kawalga was valued by the agency at Rs. 10,000 and another 13.30 acre plot in the same area was valued at Rs. 8,000.
Even more interestingly, Mr. Chinchansur himself valued the 7.30 acre plot at Rs. 5 lakh and the 13.30 acre plot at Rs. 7 lakh in his 2008 declaration to the same agency — the Karnataka Lokayukta.
Of the 116.74 acres uncovered, the anti-corruption agency is yet to verify the value of 34.84 acres. The remaining 81.9 acres, including the three plots in Kawalga, have been valued at Rs. 9.45 lakh at just over Rs. 11,500 per acre. Although no Lokayukta officer, including Additional Director-General of Police H.N.S. Rao was available for comment, senior officers in the Lokayukta said that the investigation was at a preliminary stage and nothing could be said for certain at the moment.
Late on Friday evening, sources in the Lokayukta police updated their findings and said that in addition to recoveries mentioned in the press note an additional One kg of gold and two bank accounts with over Rs. 1.6 crore belonging to Mr. Chinchansur’s wife were unearthed. They also unearthed documents of a 32 acre plot belonging to Mr. Chinchansur from a civil contractor.
Gulbarga Special Correspondent reports:
Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Chinchansur said that the raids were politically motivated and he had full confidence in the judiciary and would come out clean.