It can be held to know if norms had been violated: ex-Advocate-General

There is no legal bar for a probe by the Lokayukta into the alleged favouritism shown by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to his family members by allotting residential and industrial lands, besides denotifying land, despite the lands having been returned to the Government.

A former Advocate-General said that after the return of the land by the beneficiaries, a Lokayukta probe could still be held to know if norms had been violated while allotting the lands.

Besides, the issue of denotification had scope for inquiry as there were allegations of irregularities and abuse of power involved in it, he noted.

Meanwhile, Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde said: “the process of scrutinising the complaint is on and we will decide, in a couple of days, on whether to take up an inquiry.”

The complaint lodged with the Lokayukta against Mr. Yeddyurappa and his son B.Y. Raghavendra, MP for Shimoga, by Janata Dal (S) spokesman Y.S.V. Datta makes three types of allegations — illegal denotification of acquired lands, allotting land in favour of family members, favouring wrongful gains for members of his family by abusing his powers.

The complaint states that Mr. Yeddyurappa's family floated the following firms in 2009 after he became Chief Minister: Messrs Davalagiri Property Developer Pvt. Ltd. (owned by Mr. Yeddyurappa's two sons B.Y. Raghavendra and B.Y. Vijayendra, son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar); Messrs Bhagath Homes Private Ltd. (owned by Mr. Yeddyurappa's son-in-law, sister-in-law B.V. Bramara, daughters-in-law Thejaswini Raghavendra and Manakara Prema); and Messrs Sahyadri Healthcare and Diagnostics Private Ltd. (owned by Mr. Raghavendra, Mr. Vijayendra and Messrs Sagar Healthcare and Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd. of which BJP MLA for Chickpet, Hemachandra Sagar, is the chairman).

According to the complaint, 10 acres of land, belonging to Dayanand Sagar (father of Dr. Hemachandra Sagar) was acquired for Banashankari 5th Stage Layout of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in 1989 and the same was denotified on December 14, 2009.

The complaint also alleges that R. Praveen Chandra, who is in the business of mining, had financial transaction with Messrs DPDPL and Messrs BHPL in the financial year 2008-09. And, the Commerce and Industries Department, through its notifications during 2009-10, sanctioned a mining lease for a period of 20 years in favour of Mr. Praveen Chandra for iron and manganese ore over an area of 132.30 hectares (330 acres) at Ramajjanahalli Kaval and Mallapura villages of Hosadurga taluk in Chitradurga district.

It has been alleged in the complaint that BHPL had some financial transaction in 2008-09 with S.S. Ugendar, who owns Elyon Developers Ltd. and Kappa Technologies Private Ltd.. And, around 2.05 acres of land acquired for HSR Layout in 1984 was denotified in January 2010 and after denotification the land was sold to Mr. Ugendar.

The complaint alleges that the Government denotified 3.02 acres near Hebbal-Ammanikere in favour of K. Prakash Shetty, owner of Messrs Trishul Developers.

However, the land was denotified in favour of Mr. Prakash Shetty, who purchased these notified lands in 2004 even though there is no provision in the law to purchase such land. The Karnataka High Court in June 2008 had dismissed the writ petition filed by Messrs Trishul Developers questioning the acquisition of land.

It has been alleged in the complaint that Mr. Shetty too had financial transaction with the DPDPL.