K’taka minister under scanner for land grabbing

A Lokayukta court ordered probe into allegations against Murugesh Nirani that he had floated a number of companies which got denotified govt land.

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2011, 18:19 PM IST

Bangalore: Days after the arrest of B S
Yeddyurappa, BJP faced more embarrassment in Karnataka on Monday
with a Lokayukta court ordering a probe into allegations
against a senior minister Murugesh Nirani that he had floated
a number of companies which got denotified government land,
causing loss of over Rs.130 crore to the exchequer.

Admitting a complaint filed under the Prevention of
Corruption Act, Lokayukta Court judge N K Sudhindra Rao
directed the Superintendent of Lokayukta Police to investigate
the charges against Industries Minister Nirani and file a
report on November 16.
The complaint alleged Nirani along with eight others,
including his family members, "misused his position as
Industries Minister" and floated a number of non-existent
companies and denotified Karnataka Industrial Area Development
Board land in Devanahalli and Dobbaspet to them, causing over
Rs 130 crore loss to the exchequer.

City-based entrepreneur Alam Pasha in his October 20
complaint alleged that Nirani had "consolidated" land allotted
to the said companies "run by men of his choice" and raised a
loan of over Rs 500 crore without any authority.

He prayed that the court take cognisance of the matter
and order a thorough investigation. He also alleged Nirani had
"misused" the forum of Global Investors` Meet held last year
by the Karnataka Government for his "own personal advantage".
Nirani is the second minister in the D V Sadananda Gowda
cabinet to face trouble after Home Minister R Ashok against
whom the Lokayukta court last week ordered a probe on a
private complaint alleging illegal denotification of land.

Yeddyurappa, credited with leading the BJP to install its
first ever government in the south, is already in trouble
after the Lokayukta court remanded him to judicial custody in
connection with a private complaint charing him with illegal
denotification of government land for pecuniary gain.

The court questioned the complainant on his background,
seeking to know whether any criminal case had been registered
against him, his motive and whether the complaint was "to seek
publicity".

PTI