They have been accused of misusing power for financial gain
A criminal complaint was filed in the Special Lokayukta Court on Wednesday against the former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda, his three sons, including the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, and his daughters-in-law under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The family members have been charged with committing criminal offence by misusing their power as public office holders for financial gain. The complaint lists four counts of alleged illegal acquisition and allotment of land as well as illegal grant of mining lease and licence.
The private complaint was filed before the 24th Additional Sessions Judge Chandrashekhar Hipparagi by vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party's legal cell and noted criminal lawyer M. Vinod Kumar. He deposed in the court as a complainant and witness and was represented by senior counsel Jeevan J. Neeralgi.
The complaint was filed after Justice Hipparagi recently dismissed an interim application filed by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar asking for Mr. Kumaraswamy to be added as an accused in the criminal cases against the Chief Minister, his sons, relatives and associates. “This is a fresh complaint and has no relation whatsoever to the other cases pending in this court,” Mr. Vinod Kumar said.
The sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act under which members of the Gowda family have been charged are similar to those under which Mr. Yeddyurappa, his kin and associates have been accused.
The first charge pertains to 2006-07 when Mr. Kumaraswamy was Chief Minister. According to the complaint, Mr. Kumaraswamy allegedly violated Supreme Court and High Court directives and made bulk allotment of 80 acres and 13 guntas worth Rs. 300 crore (now worth over Rs. 1,000 crore) in the Vishwabharathi House Building Cooperative Society at Banashankari 3rd Stage in Bangalore. He also allotted site number 702 measuring 16,500 sq. ft to his wife, Anitha Kumaraswamy.
The second charge pertains to allotment of 82.4 acres of agricultural land to the Gowda family after the members claimed that they were landless agriculturists.
The third charge pertains to allotment of mining lease and licence to Janthakal Enterprises in Chitradurga district without clearances from either the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board or the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The fourth charge pertains to purchase of large tracts of land near Bidadi from persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in violation of the Land Reforms Act. The case has been posted for March 17.