Former Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurapa who is a Modi cabinet aspirant has sought discharge from a Rs 40 crore bribery and corruption case on the grounds that the CBI had not obtained government sanction prior to filing chargesheet in 2012.
The plea for discharge filed under section 197 of the CrPC will come up before a special CBI court here on Thursday. Section 197 mandates that a public servant “accused of any offence alleged to have been committed by him while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty no court shall take cognizance of such offence except with previous sanction’’.
The CBI, on Oct 16, 2012, chargesheeted Yeddyurappa, his two sons, a son-in-law, steel major JSW Steel and four Bellary based JSW affiliates for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption in a case relating to the payment of Rs 40 crore as bribes to Yeddyurappa’s family and a family trust. The CBI took up the case on the directive of the Supreme Court to probe allegations that bribes were received by Yeddyurappa’s family members from mining affiliates of JSW. The CBI registered a case against Yeddyurappa and others on May 15, 2012.
The CBI case against Yeddyurappa is one of the last pending in a series of corruption complaints that came up against him in 2011. A majority of the cases were private complaints filed before a special Lokayukta court. The cases were filed after Yeddyurappa was named in a July 2011 report of the Lokayukta for allegedly receiving mining related kickbacks.
In his discharge plea before the CBI court, Yeddyurappa has argued that the CBI filed its chargesheet against him without the prior sanction of the ruling BJP in the state. The CBI is relying on recent judgments of the Supreme Court which state that the agency does not require the sanction of the government to prosecute public servants.