Lokayukta to probe graft charges against Yeddyurappa

August 20th, 2011 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Aug 20 (IANS) Karnataka’s new Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice (Retd) Shivaraj V. Patil Saturday accepted Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s recommendation to probe bribe-taking charges against B.S. Yeddyurappa, who quit as chief minister July 31.

Patil, who took over on Aug 3, 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 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, B.Y. Raghavendra is a BJP Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, about 280 km from Bangalore.

Bhardwaj had directed the Lokayukta on Aug 4 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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