By LE Desk
Bengaluru, March 22: Finding fault with a special court’s order of refusing to proceed against Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurppa in a 10-year-old illegal land denotification case, the High Court of Karnataka directed the special court to take cognisance of offences against him, and proceed further on the basis of charge sheet filed by the Lokayukta Police in 2012.
The High Court also directed the special court to take cognisance of offence against former Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu in another illegal land denotification case as per the charge sheet, The Hindu reported.
Justice John Michael Cunha delivered the verdict on March 17 while allowing a petition filed by one A. Alam Pasha, of Bengaluru. The petitioner had questioned the July 25, 2016, order of the special court declining to proceed against Yediyurappa and Naidu based on the chargesheet.
Pasha had filed a private complaint of alleged corruption against then minister Murugesh Nirani and eight others in 2011 and the special court had ordered a probe by the Lokayukta Police.
However, the Lokayukta Police, in May 2012 had filed “B” report on nine persons named in the complaint, stating that no evidence was found against them but had filed a charge sheet against Yediyurappa and Naidu stating that their illegal and corrupt acts came to light from the records inspected during the investigation.
The charge sheet had accused Yediyurappa of illegally denotifying 20 acres of land at Hoovinayakanahalli village, Jala hobli, Bengaluru North taluk. Naidu was accused of illegally denotifying 4 acres 6 guntas of land at Makanakuppe village, Nelamangala taluk, Bengaluru Rural district. Both were accused of causing crores of rupees loss to the State exchequer by illegally denotifying lands acquired for industrial purposes by abusing their positions.
“When the charge sheet was filed before the special court alleging commission of cognizable offences under the provisions of the Prevention of Corrupt Act, the special court has no discretion to choose to ignore the cognisable offence staring on the face of the record and give reprieve to the accused on the flimsy ground that the allegations of the cognizable offences were not made in the complaint or in the FIR,” observed Justice Cunha.
“I find that the special court was oblivious of the fact that it was dealing with the allegations relating to the violation of the provisions of PC Act that was enacted with the avowed object of eradicating corruption in public life,” Justice Cunha observed.
Meanwhile, the High Court directed the special court to examine the “B” report filed stating that no evidence was found against Mr. Nirani and eight others as the special court had not passed any order on “B” report while declining to accept the charge sheet.
As Pasha’s counsel told the Court that the complainant is “apprehending danger to his life”, the Court directed the police to provide necessary protection to him as per the law while asking him to approach the jurisdictional court.