Lokayukta to probe graft charges against Yeddy

Karnataka`s new Lokayukta has accepted Governor`s recommendation to probe bribe-taking charges against BS Yeddyurappa.

Bangalore: Karnataka`s new Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice (Retd) Shivaraj V Patil on Saturday accepted Governor HR Bhardwaj`s recommendation to probe bribe-taking charges against BS Yeddyurappa, who quit as chief minister on July 31.

Patil, who took over on August 03, has deputed Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Jeevan Kumar Gaonkar to investigate the charge that Rs 30 crore had been paid to Yeddyurappa`s kin by firms allegedly involved in illegal mining, the Lokayukta office said in a press release.

Gaonkar is an additional director general of police attached to Lokayukta.

Patil`s predecessor, N Santosh Hegde, had on July 27 recommended to Bhardwaj that Yeddyurappa be tried in this case. In its wake, Yeddyurappa, Karnataka`s first Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister, quit.

In his voluminous report on illegal mining submitted on July 27, Hegde said that the Prerana Trust, run by Yeddyurappa`s two sons, had received Rs 10 crore in donation from a mining firm.

The two sons also received Rs 20 crore from another mining firm in the sale of an acre of land, the former Lokayukta`s report said.

One of the sons, BY Raghavendra is a BJP Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, about 280 km from Bangalore.

Bhardwaj had directed the Lokayukta on August 04 to investigate the bribe charge against Yeddyurappa and submit a report.

Yeddyurappa has denied the charges. He also moved the high court, challenging the Lokayukta`s findings against him.

Apprehending arrest in this and other cases, Yeddyurappa has also sought anticipatory bail from the high court.

Both his petitions are being heard by different benches of the high court.


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