Bangalore: A special Lokayukta court on Thursday ordered its police to probe the involvement of External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Devegowda in the alleged Mysore-Bangalore Express Highway scam.
Certain irregularities have been reported to have taken place in the acquisition of farmers’ land for the project that was being developed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Limited (NICE). A private complaint was filed by social activist TJ Abraham specifying the role of each of the persons named in the case.
On August 27, Abraham had filed two applications before the court. In the first, he prayed that the court attach the entire extent of 6,999 acres representing alleged fraudulent execution of the toll road project and procure a report of all transactions that were made with respect to it.
In his second application, Abraham prayed that the court exercise the power conferred under Section 4 of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance to direct the SP, Lokayukta Police, to forthwith attach the total toll illegally collected by NICE and Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises Ltd (NECEL) or through its agents at any time upon the peripheral road, more particularly identified in the Framework Agreement dated April 3, 1997 as modified from time to time.
Abraham who had also filed a synopsis along with tabular presentation of claims made in the complaint, submitted that basic aims of the project, which was to have a Bangalore-Mysore Express Highway at an investment of Rs 522 crore by the consortium to a create a concrete road of international standards, had not been fulfilled at all and the “very purpose of the project had been defeated”.
There are a total of 102 accused, including former chief minister N Dharam Singh, Ashok Kheny, Managing Director NICE, Baba Kalyani, CMD Bharat Forge, Narayan Vaghul, Chairman ICICI, 57 IAS officers, former Advocate General Ashok Haranahally and sitting High Court Judge, H S Kempanna and William Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts, USA (who was a part of a consortium).
The complaint was filed on July 18.