Lokayukta court directs HDK to appear on August 22

Judge takes notice of pvt plaint on denotification of land for Arkavathy Layout

Lokayukta court directs HDK to appear on August 22

The Special Lokayukta Court here has once again taken cognisance of a private complaint against former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy that pertains to illegal denotification of land in Thanisandra.

Judge N K Sudhindra Rao issued summons to the JD(S) leader and others on Monday.
The court directed the defendants to appear before it on August 22. The High Court had referred the case back to the Lokayukta Court for fresh consideration.

In April 2012, the Lokayukta police filed a charge sheet in the case accusing Kumaraswamy of illegally denotifying land acquired for the formation of Arkavathy Layout, on the recommendation of then Forest Minister C Chennigappa.

The charge sheet stated that Kumaraswamy, Chennigappa and the original landowner-brothers, Dr Raviprakash AV and Sriram AV, flouted rules and committed offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

In the same month, the Lokayukta Court took cognisance of the case and issued summons to all the accused.

Kumaraswamy, however, approached the High Court against the initiation of proceedings by the Lokayukta court against him.

In November, 2012, the High Court quashed the case, but referred the matter back to the Lokayukta Court for fresh consideration.

Accordingly, the Lokayukta Court once again took cognisance on Monday.

How it began

As per the complaint by M S Mahadevaswamy, the State government issued a notification in 2002-03, aiming to acquire land in Thanisandra of K R Puram hobli for the formation of Arkavathy Layout.

Land was acquired, and the preliminary notification issued on February 3, 2003 declared the acquisition of 3,339 acres and 12 guntas whereas the final notification stated the acquisition of 2,750 acres.

Among land for which final notification was issued was three acres and eight guntas in Survey no 87/4B in Thanisandra owned by Dr Raviprakash and Sriram. An application filed by land owners, stating they were very poor and had no other source of livelihood and hence wanted denotification of the land, was rejected by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

The final notification was issued along with the announcement of compensation of Rs 42 lakh. The area was divided into 57 sites and 44 of them were allotted by the BDA in 2006-07. The allottees had also obtained khata for these sites and one of them even began constructing a house.

On April 5, 2007, Raviprakash and Sriram requested their family friend Chennigappa in a letter to denotify the land. They stated that they owned no other property and requested then Chief Minister Kumaraswamy to denotify the land. The statement was false as the brothers owned a farmhouse, a commercial complex, residential plots and 10 acres of land in and around Bangalore.

When asked about the file, the BDA informed the Urban Development Department (UDD) about the land’s current status, including the formation of the Layout and the construction of houses.

Two UDD officials then recommended placing the file before the denotification committee, but then Principal Secretary of UDD, K Jothiramalingam, aware of the land’s status, forwarded the file to the chief minister recommending denotification. The Principal Secretary noted that the file was being forwarded on the chief minister’s request. Kumaraswamy then denotified the land on October 3, 2007, without ever placing it before the denotification committee.

 Following this, the brothers sold the land to a man named Srinivas Raju for Rs 2.56 crore. The BDA lost Rs five lakh it had spent on developing the land.

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