The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to quash a 2015 corruption case filed against him for alleged illegal denotification of government land, The New Indian Express reported.
Justice John Michael Cunha criticised the Lokayukta police, the state’s anti-corruption agency, for intentional and deliberate delay in investigating the matter. He also directed the Lokayukta court to monitor progress of trial in criminal cases against MPs, MLAs and MLCs.
A complaint was filed by Vasudeva Reddy, a resident of Bellandur in Bengaluru, against Yediyurappa for allegedly illegally denotifying several acres of land in the Varthur-Whitefiled IT corridor when he was the deputy chief minister during 2006-’07. The Lokayukta police started inquiry into the case in February 2015.
“Though, at this juncture, it cannot be said that Lokayukta police succumbed to pressure from Yediyurappa, who has been holding the position of chief minister, yet, being an independent and impartial body entrusted with the duty to investigate into the misconduct of public servants objectively, they cannot give rise to an impression in the minds of the general public that it is playing into the hands of the political bigwigs”, the judge said.
The chief minister’s counsel, however, argued that the High Court had quashed the same case filed against former Industries minister and Congress leader RV Deshpande on October 9, 2015. “Therefore, investigation against Yediyurappa based on same FIR is illegal and amounts to abuse of process of court,” Yediyurappa’s advocate said.
The court rejected the arguments, saying the allegations need to be investigated. “I find that distinct and separate allegations are made against the petitioner which read as under: the then Deputy Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa also recklessly denotified land, disregarding the fact that the possession was taken and land was allotted to entrepreneurs,” Justice Cunha said, according to The Indian Express.