Lokayukta court summons Yelahanka MLA in assets case

Lokayukta court summons  Yelahanka MLA in assets case

The Special Lokayukta Court on Tuesday ordered issue of summons to Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath of the BJP after taking cognisance of  charges against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Judge N K Sudhindra Rao observed there was no impediment for sanction as the abuse of office pertained to Vishwanath’s earlier term as MLA and not the present. Stating that it was a fit case for taking cognisance, the judge directed Vishwanath to appear in the court on July 29.

The Lokayukta police on August 4, 2012 had submitted a final report stating that Vishwanath possessed assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. The Lokayukta police had conducted an investigation into the matter after the Lokayukta court referred to them a private complaint filed by V Shashidhar in December 2011.

While the total assets belonging to Vishwanath and his family and the benaami property was assessed to be Rs 9.11 crore and expenditure was Rs 3.50 crore, his income was Rs 4.87 crore from salary, business and agricultural sources. The total amount of excess assets is said to be Rs 7.74 crore.

Most of Vishwanath’s property was gained after 2000, according to the police. Among the assets detailed by the police were 100 acres of land in Yelahanka, Anekal and Gowribidanur purchased at Rs 1.85 crore, house worth Rs 2.02 crore and four residential and commercial buildings in and around Bangalore purchased at a cost of Rs 64 lakh.

The Lokayukta police wrote to the then Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah seeking sanction for Vishwanath’s prosecution, since he was an MLA, but sanction was rejected by the former on December 19, 2012. Vishwanath was re-elected as an MLA from the Yelahanka constituency in the May 5, 2013 elections . The private complaint was filed by former police constable Shashidhar who had accused the MLA of possessing disproportionate assets. Shashidhar has also alleged that Vishwanath continued to receive salary and other perks from Zilla Panchayat and the HAL simultaneously.

Vishwanath is also supposed to have purchased two different properties in Hesaraghatta hobli belonging to the Karnataka Housing Board and notified by the government in 2009.
He is also accused of obtaining two residential sites at Kudlu in Anekal taluk where the HAL House Building Cooperative Society formed sites for the benefit of its members, allegedly violating the Society’s rules. The Lokayukta police will continue investigations into other aspects of the private complaint.

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