Ombudsman files FIR against Yeddyurappa in graft case (Lead)

August 10th, 2011 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Aug 10 (IANS) The Karnataka Lokyaukta (ombudsman) police Wednesday registered a first information report (FIR) against scam-hit former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in a graft case related to a contract in an irrigation project.

The FIR (No.33/1) was filed under section 13(1) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1994 and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on a complaint filed by Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) Y.S.V. Datta in the Lokayukta court against Yeddyurappa and Dhavalagiri Properties & Developers Ltd Ltd, a firm in which his two sons B.Y. Vijayendra and B.Y. Raghavendra are partners.

Raghavendra is the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Yeddyurappa’s home district Shimoga, about 280 km from here.

The complaint accused Dhavalagiri of receiving a kickback of Rs.13 crore from RNS Infrastructure Ltd, a subsidiary of Murudeshwara Power Corporation Ltd of leading industrialist R.N. Shetty, in return for being awarded work contract by the Yeddyurappa government in fiscal 2008-09 to execute the second phase of Upper Bhadra lift irrigation project in Chitradurga district, about 200 km from here.

“Though the project cost was estimated to be Rs.550 crore during 2003-04, its outlay was nearly doubled after the BJP came to power in May 2008 and RNS was awarded the contract for Rs.1,032 crore despite its bid price being far higher than other competitors in the tender,” Datta alleged in the complaint.

The additional city civil and sessions’ court, which also functions as a Lokayukta court, registered the complaint Aug 8 and its judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao directed the Lokayukta police to investigate the graft case.

“We have only registered an FIR for investigating the graft case. It is early to say about the next course of action. The question of arresting the accused (Yeddyurappa) or his sons does not arise now. The law will take its own course. The police have to first investigate the case for evidence,” state ombudsman Justice (retd) Shivaraj V. Patil told reporters here later.

Reacting to the FIR, Yeddyurappa told reporters at Shikaripura (his home town) that the complaint against him and his family was part of a bigger conspiracy to defame him.

“I know the truth… I have not committed anything wrong. I am unnecessarily being targetted. Since the law has been set in motion, I will fight the cases in the courts,” Yeddyurappa said.

The state-run Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd awarded the contract when Yeddyurappa was its chairman and his government had made an advance payment of Rs.103 crore to RNS.

Yeddyurappa resigned as the ruling BJP’s first chief minister in south India July 31 after he was indicted by former state ombudsman Justice (retd) N. Santosh Hedge July 27 in the multi-crore mining scam in the state.

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