Relief for Karnataka CM in graft case

Relief for Karnataka CM in graft case
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Bengaluru: A special court on Monday discharged Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy from a graft case in which he was alleged to have freed government land in the city suburb for monetary benefit.

“Special Lokayukta (ombudsman) court judge D.B. Patil has allowed withdrawing Kumaraswamy’s name from the case in which he was accused of taking bribe to de-notify 3.8-acre land acquired by the state-run BDA to form the Arkavathy residential layout in the city,” chief minister’s counsel Hasmath Pasha said.

Of the four co-accused in the case — retired IAS officer K. Jothiramalingam and two officials Sriram and Raviprakash — were also discharged on the lack of evidence.

The case pertains to freeing the land from the state control when Kumaraswamy was the chief minister of the then Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S)-BJP coalition government in 2006-07.

Barring the fourth co-accused — former minister C. Chennigappa — the three co-accused and Kumaraswamy had filed a discharge application in the anti-graft court here. Chennigappa did not file the application.

“The petitioner (Mahadevswamy) did not seek the government’s permission to file the graft case against Kumaraswamy who was the chief minister and a legislator then,” recalled Pasha.

The judge also noted that the case was filed in 2011, four years after the land was freed from the government in 2007 and the complainant failed to prove the irregularity charge, causing revenue loss to the government.

Kumaraswamy heads the JD-S-Congress coalition government in the state.