Fresh Lokayukta complaint filed against former chief ministers

Fresh Lokayukta complaint filed against former chief ministers

A fresh complaint was filed in the Special Lokayukta Court on Wednesday, alleging large-scale irregularities in the execution of the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project.

The complaint, filed by activist T J Abraham, lists 102 people as accused, including former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, former chief ministers, S M Krishna, N Dharam Singh, H D Kumaraswamy, B S Yeddyurappa and Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, R V Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) Ashok Kheny, CMD of Bharath Forge, Baba Kalyani and the then Chairman of ICICI Bank Narayan Vagul. About 57 IAS officers have also been named as the accused. 

Preliminary submission

During the preliminary submission, Abraham stated that the State under Deve Gowda’s chief ministership entered into a memorandum of understanding with a consortium consisting of Ashok Kheny and Baba Kalyani among others for the construction of a highway from Bangalore to Mysore in 1995, without ever ascertaining the financial capability. The consortium stated that it would invest a sum of Rs 522 crore and raise the remaining amount of more than Rs 1,000 crore through loans with no financial investment at all from the government.

Abraham said the government in good faith agreed to facilitate the land acquisition from private land owners and it also entered into a lease agreement for 1,913 acres of its own land at the rate of Rs 10 per acre per annum for a period of 30 years. 

Abraham alleged that the consortium was unable to pay Rs 10 crore to the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) and promptly mortgaged the government land for Rs 150 crore with the ICICI Bank.

Abraham also alleged that with the connivance of officials, the sale deeds were issued in favour NICE were issued for the government land. Farmers whose lands were notified in 1997 were eventually paid compensation only in 2002, but at the market rate of 1997, he claimed.He also claimed that the primary object of the whole project was to grab land in and around Bangalore. 

The matter will be taken up again on Thursday.

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