Newly inducted Forest Minister in land scam

Serious Fraud Investigation Office pulls up Yogeshwar in relation to Megacity Developers and Builders Limited for violating state land reforms Act among other violations
While Katta Subramanya Naidu and B S Yeddyurappa are facing the music after being indicted in land scams, newly inducted State Forest Minister C P Yogeshwar has now been hauled up by a central investigating agency for corporate fraud, forgery, cheating and violation of the state land reforms Act.

Sleuths of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) found that Megacity Developers and Builders Limited (MDBL), headed by Yogeshwar, purchased agricultural land in his name to be converted for residential use.
All this has been done in collusion with the authorities concerned and Yogeshwar has allegedly transferred the same land to his real estate company. This is a violation of state land reforms Act as agricultural land cannot be purchased for commercial purposes.

Results of the investigations revealed that MDBL is a closely held company with an initial investment of 6 lakh with seven shareholders. The directors of the company include Yogeshwar, his brother C P Gangadhareshwar, wife Manju Kumari and brother-in-law Mahadevaiah.

Approximately Rs 199 lakh capital has been invested on the company, and during investigations, the members of the company could not explain where the money came from.

Points to ponder
The Balance Sheet of the company for the year 2005/2006 showed Rs 37 crore, which company auditors clarified was invested on purchase of land and advance amounts to around 450 farmers to procure land in and around the Mysore-Bangalore highway.

However, of the claimed 450 agreements made out, the agency found only 62 and when attempts were made to contact them, only two farmers replied and almost half of the letters addressed to other farmers returned undelivered.

Also, during a spot inspection by the team, three farmers came on record stating that they have no received any money from the company.

Bangalore (south) Tehesildar officials verified the land sale agreements and testified that out of 62 agreements, 18 were fake, while in some cases the survey number of the land mentioned in the agreement did not exist.

In the remaining sale agreements, the landowners were not alive when the company executed the agreements.

Investigations also revealed that Yogeshwar had forged documents to get his Director Identification number (DIN), which is a unique identification number for an existing director or a person intending to become the director of a company. It was also discovered that gross misappropriation was practiced.

Company directors including Yogeshwar, Gangadhareshwar and company auditors Sanjay Sreesha, Sambhashiva Rao and M L Srinath have been charged with non-cooperating with investigations.

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