Allegations of collusion with revenue department officials to buy government land date back to 1999-2003 when Shivakumar was a minister in S M Krishna govt.
Karnataka’s energy minister D.K. Shivakumar, who was raided by Income Tax officials over a week ago, may be in for more trouble as the Supreme Court is set to hear a 2003 land grabbing case against him next week.
The petitioners in the case — social activist T.J. Abraham and Kabbale Gowda — have filed an appeal against a 2015 ruling of the Karnataka high court that discharged Shivakumar of all charges that a trial court in Bengaluru had upheld against him.
Shivakumar is alleged to have colluded with revenue department officials between 1999 to 2003 to buy land previously acquired by the government. The Congress leader was the urban development minister in the S.M. Krishna government at the time.
Shivakumar allegedly purchased 4.2 acres of land at Benniganahalli from the original owner, despite it being acquired by the Bangalore Development Authority. He allegedly got it de-notified subsequently. The minister is alleged to have signed separate agreements with real estate firms, Purvankara Projects and Prudential Housing and Infrastructure Development Ltd, to develop a residential project on the property.
A trial court in Bengaluru had given its approval for an FIR to be filed against the minister under the Prevention of Corruption Act. However, the high court quashed the case against him. Lawyers from both sides did not respond to queries since the matter is sub-judice.
Interestingly, the land which was originally meant for use by industries, was converted to land for residences in 2009 by the former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa. The former chief minister is facing charges in another land de-notification case being heard by the Supreme Court. This case is linked to the 15 cases registered by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau wherein land was allegedly de-notified illegally to favour private entities.
Shivakumar is already under the I-T department’s scanner and 39 properties of the minister and his family were raided on August 2. The raids took place while he was hosting 44 Congress legislators from Gujarat in a resort ahead of the Rajya Sabha poll in the state.