The Karnataka government has sought the Advocate General’s opinion on whether there was any violation of rules in securing allotment of site by Law Minister S Suresh Kumar under the chief minister’s discretionary quota, an issue on which he has resigned. Upset over reports that he violated rules in securing the site from the Bangalore Development Authority, Kumar resigned from the BJP Ministry on June 23, but Gowda has refused to accept it. Gowda asserted that he would accept the resignation if rules were violated.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Forest department today submitted a report in the state high court in connection with alleged encroachment of about 20 acres of reserved forest land in Bellary district by Congress MP and mining baron Anil Lad and his brother. The report was submitted by Bellary District Assistant Conservator of Forests Venkatesh as per the high court’s December last year directive to the state government, including the Forest Department, to provide details. The court gave the directive on a PIL petition. The petition is being heard by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice A S Bopanna.
K N Somashekar, an RTI activist, had filed the PIL alleging that Ashok Lad in connivance with his brother Anil Lad had established a luxurious resort adjacent to the backwaters of Narihalla Dam by encroaching reserved forest land. The petitioner charged that no action had been initiated by the government to protect its natural resources and also environment.