|A total of 1,300 acres of land, of the 3,546 acres notified for acquisition for the Dr. Shivaram Karanth layout project, was dropped from being acquired on the direction of none other than the present government [led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah] during April 2014, it was pointed out to the High Court of Karnataka recently.|
When the present government itself dropped a whopping 1,300 acres from being acquired, how can the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) allege that former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s direction to delete a mere 257 acres had “frustrated the entire project”, questioned senior counsel C.V. Nagesh during the hearing of petitions filed by Mr. Yeddyurappa questioning corruption cases registered against him by the ACB.
Mr. Nagesh also pointed out that the BDA, which “did not follow the order from the then commander (Mr. Yeddyurappa)” as it had refused to drop certain lands from being acquired, had “accepted orders from the present commander” and deleted 1,300 acres “at a stroke of the pen.”
Arguing that the present government, which came to power in May 2013, could have taken steps to form the layout as 2,800 acres of identified land (out of 3,546 acres) was still available, Mr. Nagesh questioned ACB’s contention that it was Mr. Yeddyurappa’s order for deletion of 257 acres that led to quashing of the project.
Instead, the present government ordered for deletion of 1,300 acres, which included lands belonging Byrathi Basavaraj, MLA, said Mr. Nagesh while terming that “some exigency as it was elections for Lok Sabha” could have made the government “denotify” lands.
Alleging that ACB was trying to “mislead” the court that a land owner, Asha Paradeshi, had submitted representation through her general power of attorney to Mr. Yeddyurappa for deletion of 3 acres and 6 guntas of land though she “did not own any land”, Mr. Nagesh demonstrated through the documents that Ms. Pradeshi did purchase the land way back in 2005 through a registered sale deed but her name did not figure in BDA’s preliminary notification as khata was yet to be transferred to her name when BDA issued notification in 2008.
She had also approached the High Court for quashing of notification as BDA did not delete her land, it was pointed out. Further hearing has been adjourned till Thursday.