Lokayukta gives clean chit to BSY in Upper Bhadra scam

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BS Yeddyurappa
Bangalore, Jan 30: As a reprieve for BS Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Lokayukta police on Monday, Jan 30 filed a 'B' report, in which the former was given a clean chit by the investigating agency over his role in an Upper Bhadra Project scandal. 

Lokayukta authorities were conducting the probe into the alleged wrongdoing against Yeddyurappa as the then Chief Minister over a private complaint. He was accused of misusing office to award contracts to ineligible firms by bending laws.

However, eventually the anti-corruption watch dog's report came out in favor of Yedyurappa. It claimed that there was no evidence to prove any irregularities of Yeddyurappa in alleged scam. 

Meanwhile, the investigating officer and Lokayukta Deputy Superintendent of Police, S Girish, had detected misconducts in financial transactions between Murudeshwara Power Corporation and Dhavalagiri Properties and Sahyadri Healthcare. Commenting on the same, he said that this falls under Companies Act, 1956 but doesn't attract the provisions under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Sahyadri Healthcare and Diagnostics and Dhavalagiri Properties are owned by Yeddyurappa's sons and son-in-law. Moreover, Murdeshwar Power Corporation Ltd. is a sister concern of RNS Infrastructure-Jyoti, the benefitter of Upper Bhadra Project scam. 

Upper Bhadra Project case trail

Spokesperson for JD(S), YSV Datta filed a private complaint against Yeddyurappa, saying that the ex-CM exercised his powers to favor a private firm in-spite of knowing that the RNS sought for steep price.

In the wake of Datta's complaint, Lokayukta took over the case in 2011, Aug 28.

Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) had floated a tender for construction, operation and maintenance of Upper Bhadra Lift Irrigation Scheme Package 2 for lifting of 21.5 tmc ft of water for irrigation and drinking water purposes. Then, in 2003-04, the estimated project cost was Rs 550 crore. However, the tender was awarded during the tenure of Yeddyurappa as CM.

Following which 16 companies came forward to bid and win tender documents. In which only five were shortlisted and finally just two companies given privilege to be part of tender process i.e. Kirloskar Brothers Limited and the joint venture company RNS Infrastructure-Jyothi.

The core allegation by Datta was that Yeddyurappa awarded contract to RNS-Jyothi, undermining, KNNL and expert panel's suggestion that both the bidders were not technically fit to carry out the project.

According to Datta, contract awarded RNS-Jyothi quoted Rs 1,032 crore, which was much higher equated with rival-bidder Kirloskar that sought the tender documents with two alternative proposals- one for Rs 1,020 crore and Rs 1,006 crore.

The investigation reveal

BS Yeddyurappa had just cleared the proposal tabled at Nigam meet by technical committee led by the former Visvesvaraya Technological University Vice Chancellor HP Khincha , which selected RNS-Jyothi to execute Upper Bhadra Project.

The complaint alleged that the sum of Rs 13 crore was given to Yeddyurappa as kickbacks for his consideration in awarding contract. However, the investigating agency have found that it was Rs 16 crore that was transferred as 'investment'.

Since, this sum was transferred as an investment into the companies held by Yeddyurappa's son and son-in-laws, one-and-half years later, probe team did not consider it as bribe.

Now, Lokayukta has summoned complainant Datta about the 'B' report, informing that he could challenge the report in the court in case of any dispute within a week.

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