The Special Lokayukta Court on Thursday issued summons to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar and builder Girish Puravankara in connection with a land scam. Taking cognisance of the case, Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao posted the case for August 8.
The court’s action has once again caused embarrassment to the Lokayukta police which had submitted a charge sheet on June 21 claiming that no evidence could be found against Mr. Yeddyurappa in the scam. The anti-corruption agency also exonerated Puravankara Builders, who were allegedly the biggest beneficiaries in the scam.
When complainant T.J. Abraham had moved court with a private complaint against Mr. Shivakumar and others, the court had referred the case to the Lokayukta police for investigation.
The allegation was that Mr. Shivakumar had violated the law by purchasing 4.2 acres of industrial land near Old Madras Road in December 2003 despite the fact that it had been notified for acquisition by the BDA.
He then approached the revenue authorities with an application to convert the land for residential purposes. The then Special Deputy Commissioner Ramegowda granted permission to convert the land. Mr. Shivakumar then entered into a Joint Development Agreement with a subsidiary of the Purvankara Group for the construction of an apartment complex on the land.
With the BDA notification still in place and the threat of acquisition looming large, Mr. Shivakumar allegedly approached his political rival, Mr. Yeddyurappa, who used his official position to denotify the land.
However, in its charge sheet submitted on June 21, the investigating agency claimed that it found no evidence to link the de-notification to Mr. Yeddyurappa. Slamming this conclusion, Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao observed that as Chief Minister Mr. Yeddyurappa had failed to discharge his responsibility of protecting public property.
Judge Rao also took exception to the failure of the Lokayukta police to question Puravankara who came to become the owners of 73 per cent of the land. He observed that there was prima facie evidence of irregularities committed by Puravankara Builders.
Judge Rao also directed the Lokayukta police to conduct further investigations into Mr. Abraham’s second complaint concerning the various irregularities committed by Mr. Shivakumar and the Vyalikaval, Shanti Nagar, NTI, Bhavani and Jayanagar housing cooperative societies.
Meanwhile, the High Court on Thursday granted interim anticipatory bail to Mr. Shivakumar in this case and asked him to apply for the regular bail before the Special Lokayukta Court within next four days.