A special court in Bengaluru on Monday granted relief to CM HD Kumaraswamy by discharging him in the Arkavathy Layout denotification case. The special Lokayukta court for legislators and MP ordered that the inquiry against Kumaraswamy be dropped. Kumaraswamy had petitioned the court to quash the inquiry against him in the case.
Hasmath Pasha, senior advocate who represented HDK, told TNM, "CM Kumaraswamy has been discharged before the trial itself, as there is no sufficient material."
The CM had petitioned that there was no proof to establish that Kumaraswamy had denotified the land with the intent of reap personal benefits.
The court also admitted submissions by the BDA and Urban Development Department which said the denotification was done only after seeking permissions from all concerned authorities.
The CM was facing a case under IPC 182 (false information by public servant), 120B (criminal conspiracy, 420 (cheating) and 139(1)(c) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The case dates back to 2007 during Kumaraswamyâ€™s previous tenure as CM. He is alleged to have abused his power to denotify three acres and eight guntas of land acquired by the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) without following norms at Thanisandra near Hennur.
Although the land was acquired in 2003, Dr Raviprakash and Sriram sought denotification of land in 2007 claiming poor financial condition. They also claimed that the land was their only source of their income.
But media reports indicate that this claim was false as the brothers owned many properties at the time including a farmhouse, commercial complex and residential plots. The brothers had approached their friend then Forest Minister Chennigappa for this purpose.
Then CM Kumaraswamy on the insistence of his minister allegedly denotified the land bypassing the land denotification committee causing loss to the government.
The Lokayukta had initiated investigation in January 2012 following a private complaint by one MS Mahadevswamy, who alleged that the land was denotified even after the allotment of sites were already done.
In his defence, HDKâ€™s supporters had said the allegation against the CM does not hold ground as there is no acceptance of illegal gratification on his part and hence there cannot be any allegation of abuse of power.
Incidentally, in August 2017, HDKâ€™s predecessor Siddaramaiah got a clean chit on the grounds of weak terms of reference in a case where he was accused of illegally denotifying 541 acres of land.