Updated: July 9, 2021 3:07:20 am
A special court in Bengaluru hearing matters related to elected representatives has rejected a private complaint seeking a probe into alleged corruption and money laundering by Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, members of his family and others on account of the state Governor rejecting the sanction sought by the complainant for prosecution of the chief minister.
Social activist T J Abraham filed the private complaint against the CM and others, seeking directions to file an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A special court for matters related to elected representatives ruled on Thursday that the complaint was “not maintainable in the absence of valid sanction”.
Abraham, who frequently files cases against elected representatives, approached the special court with his complaint stating that a request for sanction to prosecute the CM that was made in November last year was yet to be decided by the Governor. He told the court that the delay in deciding on the sanction could be construed as “deemed sanction” for prosecution since a period of four months is outlined by courts for granting sanction under the PC Act.
The special court was, however, informed on June 30 by a public prosecutor that the state anti-corruption bureau had received an order signed by the under secretary to the governor, dated June 23, 2021, rejecting the request of the complainant for prosecution sanction.
“I am of the opinion that there is no room for doubt that the requirement of sanction is a condition precedent for directing investigation under Sec.156 (3) Cr.P.C, which in the present case has not been obtained by the complainant,” the special court judge B Jayantha Kumar said on Thursday.
Apart from Yediyurappa, the private complaint had named a minister in the BJP government S T Somashekhar, IAS officer G C Prakash, the CM’s son B Y Vijayendra, his grandson Sashidhar Maradi, son-in-law Virupakshappa Yamakanamaradi, and a relative Sanjay Sree.
The complaint was based on bribery and money laundering allegations that appeared in the media against the CM and others last year with reference to clearances given for implementation of a housing project by a private firm, Ramalingam Construction Company Limited, and promises of awarding other contracts to the firm by persons close to the CM.
The allegations pertain to alleged bribes amounting to over Rs 12 crore for contracts – including Rs 5 crore that was received by companies linked to the CM’s grandson from multiple Kolkata shell companies last year.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, who rejected the sanction for prosecution after a long delay, has been accused by the opposition Congress of helping the CM and his family dodge the corruption charges. Senior Congress leader V S Ugrappa said this week that the governor must clarify why the decision on the request for prosecution sanction was delayed for several months and abruptly rejected on June 23.
On July 6, the central government announced the appointment of a new Governor for Karnataka in the form of former Union minister and senior BJP leader Thawarchand Gehlot.