Jurisdiction confusion benefiting Yogeeshwara

Yogeeshwara

The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs is in a sticky situation over prosecution of State Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara, who is facing charges of corporate fraud, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy in the multi-crore Megacity project.

The ministry ordered a Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) probe into the case in April 2009, based on a private complaint filed by Ravindra Beleyur, President, Megacity (Bangalore) Developers and Builders Limited Site Members Welfare Association in April 2006.

It is yet to take action against the minister despite SFIO’s recommendation that he be prosecuted under the Companies Act or the IPC. According to sources in the ministry, legal opinion has been sought on who should prosecute Yogeeshwara – Central agencies or the State agencies.

Till the jurisdictional matter is resolved, the forest minister can breathe easy, sources said.

2,000-page report

SFIO submitted its 2,000-page (main report comprising 200 pages) report to the ministry on July 30, while copies of the same were attested to Yogeeshwara and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the last week of August.

The investigations were conducted by a six-member team headed by Additional Director, SFIO, J K Teotia, which made six visits to the City, during which it recorded statements of Yogeeshwara.

The Forest Minister, who has been implicated for cheating 9,300-odd investors, is also said to have not furnished documents to SFIO. The Ministry is also said to be examining the representation furnished by Yogeeshwara’s advocate.

CID to refer to SFIO report

The CID, which took up the case in November 2006, filed its ‘spilt chargesheet’ in March 2010. The case is pending trial before the ACMM court-2. CID, which is still conducting investigation, will refer to the SFIO report, said CID’s DIGP, S Murugan.

“SFIO has made a few suggestions to CID to be incorporated during the investigations in its report, a copy of which was made available to us towards the end of August. The department will continue probe taking the suggestions into consideration,” he added.

The Association submitted recommendations to Governor H R Bhardwaj and Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on August 30 demanding action against Yogeeshwara.

Minister reacts

Yogeeshwara alleged that he was being politically targeted by JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy.

“This entire campaign against me has been funded by Kumaraswamy, who had targeted me even when he was the chief minister. Not tolerating my popularity in the Cauvery belt, Kumarwasmy has tried everything in his capacity to tarnish my image. Though I have furnished responses to the queries of the SFIO, I have also made it clear to the agency that there is no constitutional provision for two agencies to be investigating the same complaints filed by the same complainants,” Yogeeshwara said.

Forgery

He added that there was no provision for two agencies to hold parallel inquiries.

On the matter of forgery, in which Yogeeshwara is said to have furnished three separate Director Identification Numbers (DIN), in violation of the Companies Act, he said this was a baseless allegation.

“While renewing my passport, my name was spelt differently, a mistake that I haven’t yet been able to get rectified. Also there are two different names, because two different companies were floated,” he said.

Identification

In DIN no 1, the name furnished is Chakkerapura Yogeshwara Madegowda; in DIN No 2, the name furnished is Channapatana Yogeshwara Puttamadegowda; and the name furnished in DIN No 3 is Yogeeshwara Madegowda Chakkerepura. He, however, told Deccan Herald that his passport carried his name as Chakkere Puttamadegowda Yogeeshwara.

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