A Bengaluru court has ordered the police to register a “special criminal case” against former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, Live Law reported on Thursday.
Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge B Jayantha Kumar passed the order on March 26 in connection with a land denotification case when Yediyurappa was the deputy chief minister.
The case pertains to a 434-acre private land acquired by the state government for setting up an information technology park in Bengaluru when the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (Secular) government was in power in the state between 2006 and 2007, reported The Indian Express.
The complainant, Vasudeva Reddy, had alleged that Yediyurappa denotified the acquisition of the land “without any public interest or public purpose” and handed it over to other private parties, which resulted in losses for the state government and owners of the land. Reddy alleged that the denotification order was illegal.
In his order, the judge said that there was sufficient material to initiate proceedings against Yediyurappa and give the complainant a chance to establish his allegations.
“I am of the opinion that prima facie it cannot be said that denotification has been ordered by the accused No 2 [Yediyurappa] in exercise of lawful powers vested in him,” the special court said.
Reddy had filed the original complaint in 2013 against Yediyurappa and the then Industries Minister RV Deshpande, reported PTI. In 2015, a Lokayukta court had ordered an investigation into Reddy’s allegations.
The case against Deshpande, however, was quashed by the Karnataka High Court in 2015. Yediyurappa too had sought quashing the case, but the High Court dismissed his petition in 2020.
The Lokayukta Police submitted a closure report in January 2021, stating that there was no illegal payment had been made to Yediyurappa to issue the denotification order. The report said that the police also could not find any evidence to file a chargesheet against Yediyurappa.
In July, the special court, however, rejected the closure report, saying that the police had not conducted a proper investigation in the case.