Government to look into fresh cheating charge levelled against Minister

The Opposition Congress on Thursday demanded the resignation of Forest Minister C.P. Yogeshwar against whom the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the State and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs have filed charge sheets with regard to his alleged involvement in the Megacity scam.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah, who sought to move an adjournment motion to debate the Minister's involvement in the scam in the Legislative Assembly, said charge sheets had been filed against Mr. Yogeshwar for his alleged misappropriation of Rs. 37 crore collected from 9,000 people.

Mr. Yogeshwar had no moral right to continue in the Cabinet till he was cleared of charges, he said.

The CID and SFIO have filed charge sheets against Mr. Yogeshwar for corporate fraud, criminal conspiracy, forgery, and cheating related to the dealings of his company Megacity (Bangalore) Developers and Builders Ltd. (MDBL). The MDBL was set up in 1994.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said the police filed charge sheet against the Minister recently and the demanded Speaker K G Bopaiah's permission to debate the issue in detail.

D.K. Shivakumar told the Speaker that the party members would stage a dharna in the House if permission was denied to discus the issue. Several Ministers in the BJP government had tendered resignation following their alleged involvement in scams, he said and questioned Mr. Yogeshwar's continuation as Minister.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S. Suresh Kumar said the issue could not be debated under the adjournment motion rule since it was not a recent phenomenon.

The Speaker said the matter was sub judice and asked Congress members to discuss the issue under Rule 69 of the House later in the day. The State government on Wednesday said it would look into the Rs. 2 crore cheating charge levelled against Mr. Yogeshwar by Nandi Engineering Limited (NEL), constructing Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Project.