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Rediff.com  » News » Now, K'taka industries minister faces Lokayukta probe

Now, K'taka industries minister faces Lokayukta probe

October 24, 2011 18:23 IST
Days after the arrest of B S Yeddyurappa, the Bharatiya Janata Party faced more embarrassment in Karnataka on Monday with a Lokayukta court ordering a probe into allegations against a senior minister Murugesh Nirani that he had floated a number of companies which got denotified government land, causing loss of over Rs.130 crore to the exchequer.

Admitting a complaint filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Lokayukta court Judge N K Sudhindra Rao directed the superintendent of Lokayukta police to investigate the charges against Industries Minister Nirani and file a report on November 16.

The complaint alleged Nirani along with eight others, including his family members, "misused his position as industries minister" and floated a number of non-existent companies and denotified Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board land in Devanahalli and Dobbaspet to them, causing over Rs 130 crore loss to the exchequer.

Bengaluru-based entrepreneur Alam Pasha in his October 20 complaint alleged that Nirani had "consolidated" land allotted to the said companies "run by men of his choice" and raised a loan of over Rs 500 crore without any authority. He prayed that the court take cognisance of the matter and order a thorough investigation. He also alleged Nirani had "misused" the forum of Global Investors' Meet held last year by the Karnataka government for his "own personal advantage".

Nirani is the second minister in the D V Sadananda Gowda cabinet to face trouble after Home Minister R Ashok against whom the Lokayukta court last week ordered a probe on a private complaint alleging illegal denotification of land.    

Yeddyurappa, credited with leading the BJP to install its first ever government in the south, is already in trouble after the Lokayukta court remanded him to judicial custody in connection with a private complaint charing him with illegal denotification of government land for pecuniary gain.

The court questioned the complainant on his background, seeking to know whether any criminal case had been registered against him, his motive and whether the complaint was "to seek publicity".

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