Plaint against ex-minister over land grant to his trust

Puttaswamy got Cabinet to okay land at Rs 1K per acre

Plaint against ex-minister over land grant to his trust

A complaint has been lodged with the Lokayukta police against former co-operation minister B J Puttaswamy of the BJP and former chief secretary S V Ranganath in connection with the illegal allotment of 10 acres of gomala land near Nelamanagala in favour of a trust, in which Puttaswamy is the managing trustee for life.

The complaint filed by retired wing commander G B Atri states that Vishwa Ganigara Samudaya (VGS) Trust had filed an application in March 2011 urging the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa for grant of 10 acres of land. The Trust was registered with the Malleswaram sub-registrar’s office barely three days before the application was filed on March 24, 2011. The complainant stated that Puttaswamy was the managing trustee of the VGS Trust for life and cannot be removed from the post. In the subsequent correspondences, Puttaswamy has used his letterhead either as a political secretary or ‘sahakara mantri’ and not on the letterhead of the Trust.

After Yeddyurappa directed the officials to look into the application, Puttaswamy, as the political secretary to the then chief minister, wrote to the then revenue minister requesting him to grant 13 acres of land in survey number 112 of Nagarur village in Dasanapura hobli to the Trust. Later, on September 15, 2011, when D V Sadananda Gowda was the chief minister, the State Cabinet took a decision to grant 10 acres of land in favour of VGS Trust for educational purpose at Rs 1,000 per acre.

According to the complainant, the cattle strength at Nagarur village as per government records was 1,083 during 2010-11 and 2011-12. After the grant of land, Puttaswamy applied to the Nelamangala Planning Authority for sanction of a building plan on the leased land without obtaining Change of Land Use.

The complainant stated that Puttaswamy had not only written repeatedly to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) and the Nelamangala Planning Authority as minister, but had also written to the additional chief secretary, Urban Development Department, and the Commissioner of BMRDA to attend a meeting at the State secretariat in September 2012.

“The police will have to investigate how preferential treatment was given to the Trust which was only three days old when it applied for the land grant. The investigation should also cover how the VGS Trust was illegally constructing buildings without proper sanction from regulatory bodies, including the complicity by the Urban Development Department and the BMRDA,” Atri said.

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