KHB land grab scam: similar case pending before Mysuru court

Even as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) filed a case against 46 persons, including the son and brother of a JD(S) MLA, and arrested five persons, including two engineers, in the Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) land acquisition scam, it has come to light that a case of cheating a farmer of Rs 1.2 crore against six accused is pending before a court.

L Ravi, a farmer of Anandur, in the taluk, had filed a case in Ilvala police station in 2014 alleging that a few officials of the KHB and a few middlemen had cheated him. Following the investigation of the case, the police have filed a charge-sheet before the Second JMFC Court, in the city. The next hearing of the case will be on March 28 and the court has summoned six accused, including Assistant Executive Engineer M B Somasekhar and former president of Anandur Gram Panchayat N B Vasu, who have been arrested now.

These six persons, including Bengaluru-based realtors Shivashankar H Pulse and Prakash alias Mahendra, N B Manju of K Naganahalli and Manju of Anandur, figure in the FIR of the ACB also.

Ravi owned four acres and 20 guntas of land, which had been identified by the KHB for acquisition in 2008. Learning about this, the realtors contacted him through the locals and made a deal. Even though the KHB has announced a compensation of Rs 36.5 lakh per acre of land, they concealed the fact and got a GPA (general power of attorney) from Ravi for a total of Rs 49 lakh. While the KHB released a total of Rs 1.64 crore for Ravi's land, Ravi was paid only at the rate of Rs 11 lakh per acre. So, Ravi had filed a case on February 5 in 2014.

Meanwhile, in the case filed by the ACB, the five arrested persons, Assistant Executive Engineer M B Somasekhar, Assistant Engineer M Mahesh, middlemen Jnaneshwar, Vijay Kumar and N B Vasu, have been remanded to judicial custody.

The names of G D Harish Gowda, and Yaduvar, MLA G T Devegowda's son and younger brother respectively, figure in the FIR. Devegowda was the chairman of the KHB in 2008-09, when 81 acres of lands in Gungral Chatra, Kalluru Naganahalli and Yalchanahalli under Ilvala hobli of Mysuru taluk, were acquired at the rate of Rs 36.50 lakh per acre. Following complaints that there were violations in the acquisition of the lands, a Lokayukta probe had been initiated in 2009.

Following the report of the Lokayukta, the ACB had filed the FIR on Monday and executed the arrests on Tuesday.

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