Karnataka panel to cover land deals not under ombudsman’s probe

Monday, December 6, 2010

BANGALORE - The Karnataka government Monday said that illegal land deals being probed by Lok Ayukta (ombudsman) will not form part of the enquiry by a judicial panel set up to investigate major land transactions by successive state governments since 1995.

The clarification came in response to objections by Lok Ayukta N. Santosh Hegde, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, that it was against the law to hand over cases being investigated by him to another agency without his prior approval.

Hegde took on board Nov 18 the complaint of the opposition Janata Dal-Secular against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over he allegedly favouring his close kin with prime land in and around Bangalore.

The same day the Yeddyurappa government announced appointment of B. Padmaraj, a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, to probe land deals since 1995.

Hegde took strong objection to the governments move, following which the state chief secretary wrote to him seeking suggestions to resolve the issue.

The government Monday issued a notification that said: “It is clarified that all cases where the investigation is already under progress by the institution of Lok Ayukta as on the date of the decision of the state cabinet to appoint a commission of enquiry, Nov 18, 2010, are excluded from the purview of Justice Padmaraj Commission of enquiry.

Filed under: Politics

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