HC retired judge to probe land scams

HC retired judge to probe land scams

The State Government on Monday chose a High Court retired judge to inquire into land scam allegations, even though it announced that the probe would be conducted by a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

The appointment comes at a time when the BJP central leadership is considering easing out Yeddyurappa, who is facing allegations of corruption and land scam, from the Chief Minister’s post.

The government on Monday appointed retired High Court judge B Padmaraj to head a one-man commission to inquire into land scams including denotification of lands in the State and allotment of ‘G’ category sites by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) from January 1995 to till date.

Official sources cited non-availability of a retired Supreme Court judge to probe the land dealings as the reason for the appointment of a retired High Court judge. The Commission has been set up under provision of the Commission of Inquiry Act 1952.

According to a notification issued on Monday, Justice Padmaraj will inquire into illegal allotment and denotification of land by Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) and Urban Local Bodies. The Commission will alsoprobe allegations of illegal allotment of ‘G’ category sites by the BDA and denotification of land notified by it.

The scope of the inquiry will cover the period commencing from January 1, 1995, to date. In all, it will cover the tenure of seven chief ministers –– H D Deve Gowda, J H Patel, S M Krishna, Dharam Singh, H D Kumaraswamy and B S Yeddyurappa. The Commission has been given a year to complete its inquiry and will be headquartered in Bangalore.

The Government notification has said the Commission will fix responsibility on the persons behind such illegalities. It would also suggest remedial measures to prevent any illegalities in these matters.

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