Karna govt yields to Lokayukta, amends judicial probe terms

Seeking to avoid a showdown with the Lokayukta, the BJP government in Karnataka decided to keep land scams already under investigation by the anti-corruption watchdog out of the purview of the judicial probe it had ordered.

Updated: Dec 06, 2010, 21:35 PM IST

Bangalore: Seeking to avoid a showdown
with the Lokayukta, the BJP government in Karnataka on Monday
decided to keep land scams already under investigation by the
anti-corruption watchdog out of the purview of the judicial
probe it had ordered.

"All the cases where investigation is already in
progress by Lokayukta as on November 18, 2010 are excluded
from the purview of the judicial commission of inquiry," a
government notification said here.

Lokayukta Santosh Hegde had come out strongly against
the government for ordering the judicial probe into the land
scams when the issue was pending before him.

He had maintained that his agency would continue with
the inquiry on the complaints it had received about
irregularities in allotment of land by the Karnataka
Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) and also over the
allegations pertaining to denotification of lands.

The Lokayukta police last week registered FIRs against
former housing minister Katta Subramanya Naidu and his
corporator son, Jagadish and 10 others in connection with the
alleged irregularities in KIADB.

Naidu became the first political victim of the spate
of land scams that besieged the B S Yeddyurappa government
when he quit the ministry.

The Yeddyurappa government which faced a series of
allegations of illegal denotification and allotment of lands
by KIADB and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) on November
22 appointed retired high court judge B Padmaraj to head the
commission of inquiry into the charges from the period Janaury
1, 1995 to November 18, 2010.

However, the government had to face the ire of Hegde,
who questioned the government "unilaterally" ordering the
judicial probe into cases which his agency has already been
probing and accused it of "ignoring the institution of
Lokayukta".

The state government last week sought his advise on
finding a solution to the judicial probe row, which has also
entered into the portals of the high court with a PIL being
filed for a direction on the nature of enquiry to be conducted
into the land scams.

PTI