The Karnataka high court in a significant order on Tuesday allowed the reinstatement of corruption cases against top BJP leaders in the state including former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, former state BJP president K S Eshwarappa and members of their families.
A series of corruption cases filed before the anti corruption ombudsman the Lok Ayukta by an advocate B Vinod had been dismissed in February this year by a special Lok Ayukta court in the district of Shimoga for various reasons including lack of prior sanction to file the complaint against the leaders who were earlier the chief minister and deputy chief minister of Karnataka.
Following four appeals filed against the order of the Shimoga Lok Ayukta court a single judge of the Karnataka high court Justice Anand Byrareddy on Tuesday allowed the reinstatement of the corruption cases filed by advocate B Vinod against the BJP leaders from Shimoga.
Yeddyurappa currently a BJP MP from Shimoga, and Eshwarappa, both of whom hail from the district of Shimoga have been accused of usurping vast tracts of government and forest land and making it their own during their time in power in Karnataka between 2008 to 2013.
Among the others accused of involvement in the amassment of illegal wealth in Shimoga are Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra, currently an MLA in the state legislature, his daughters B S Umadevi and S Y Arunadevi. On Eshwarappa’s side his son K E Kanthesh and daughter in law R Shalini have been named in the corruption complaints. A retired IFS officer Nagaraj Hampole and the former state forest secretary Meera Saxena have been accused of complicity in the cases.
A Shimoga Lokayukta Court had earlier this year thrown out the complaints filed against the BJP leaders because the advocate B Vinod who filed the complainst had not sought the sanction of the Governor of Karnataka for prosecution of the leaders.
In criminal revision petitions in the Karnataka high court the advocate had argued that there was no need to obtain the Governor’s sanction at the time of filing the complaints against the BJP leaders since they were not holding public offices at the time of filing the complaint – although they held public offices during the period when the alleged corruption occurred.