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Friday, April 16, 2021

Karnataka HC orders restoration of corruption case against BS Yediyurappa

The case is related to alleged corruption in denotification of land done in the 2008-2012 period — when the BJP was in power in Karnataka for the first time.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 20, 2021 8:00:27 am
BS YediyurappaB S Yediyurappa

The Karnataka High Court has directed a special court for corruption cases to reinstate an old case against Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa that had been dropped by a Sessions court in July 2016.

The case is related to alleged corruption in denotification of land done in the 2008-2012 period — when the BJP was in power in Karnataka for the first time. Former Industries Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu is also named in the case. The HC said the sessions court had erred in dropping the case in 2016, based on a police report citing a closure report filed by the police for nine others named in the case.

In its order for taking up the case against Yediyurappa the HC said, “the Special Court is directed to take cognizance of the offences made out in the chargesheet against respondent Nos.10 and 11(named as accused Nos.1 and 2 in the charge sheet) and proceed in accordance with law”.

The plea for reinstatement of the old case was filed in 2016 by activist Alam Pasha and the HC passed its order for reinstatement on March 17, this year.

Pasha, who was the original complainant in the anti-corruption case filed against Yediyurappa and others in 2012, argued in the HC that the sessions court had wrongly dropped the case in 2016 by citing a closure report filed by the police.

The allegations brought against Yediyurappa and Naidu were that they used their positions to allow the release of over 24 acres of government-acquired land in north Bengaluru to private persons, causing a loss to the state exchequer in the bargain. The release of the land also involved illegal gratification, the 2012 complaint against Yediyurappa and others had alleged.

The Lokayukta police, following investigations, had filed a final report dropping the cases against nine persons named in the case since no evidence could be collected against them and a filed a chargesheet against Yediyurappa and Naidu.

Despite the police chargesheet, the sessions court went on to drop the entire case on the basis of the closure report filed against nine others in the case, the HC said.

“I am of the clear view that the impugned order is indefensible and cannot be sustained under law or on the facts of this case for the following reasons: Firstly, the impugned order has been passed by the learned Special Judge while considering the ‘B’ Summary report submitted by the Investigating Agency insofar as accused No.1 to 9 are concerned,” Justice John Michael Cunha has stated.

“A perusal of the impugned order on the face of it reveals that the learned Special Judge has not considered the final report filed by respondent No.13 in so far accused Nos.1 to 9 are concerned and no order has been passed either rejecting or accepting the report insofar as accused Nos.1 to 9 are concerned,” the HC has observed.

The current case is the fourth legal setback suffered by Yeddiyurappa since December 2020 in connection with cases pending against him from his earlier tenure. Yediyurappa has obtained relief in some of the cases from the Supreme Courts and the lower courts.

In January this year Yediyurappa suffered a setback when the high court refused to interfere with a corruption case registered against him in 2015 on the basis of a complaint by an activist Jayakumar Hiremath – where the chief minister is accused of releasing government acquired land to members of the family of former chief minister of H D Kumaraswamy in 2010.

In another case the high court allowed a plea for restoration of a corruption complaint against Yediyurappa and another former state industries minister Murugesh Nirani for allegedly reneging on a commitment to grant 26 acres of land to a private investor in 2011.

Last year on December 22 the high court had refused to quash an FIR registered by the Lok Ayukta police in 2015 against Yediyurappa in a complaint over denotification of government land when Yediyurappa was the deputy CM of Karnataka in 2006-07.

The re-emergence of old cases of corruption against Yediyurappa has served as fodder for the opposition to seek his 0resignation as the CM.

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