The Supreme Court on Wednesday protected Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and his former Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani from arrest in a corruption case, Live Law reported. The court was hearing a special leave petition against a Karnataka High Court order restoring the corruption complaint filed against them for allegedly trying to make money by denotifying a housing project proposal for middle and low income groups on 26 acres in Bengaluru.
A bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde stayed the arrest of the chief minister and Nirani, but refused to override the Karnataka High Court order. The court also issued a notice to the complainant Alam Pasha, who has accused them of not sticking to a commitment to grant the land to him in 2011, NDTV reported.
While hearing Yediyurappa’s petition, the chief justice said, “You are a sitting chief minister. Who will issue a warrant against you? At most, they can issue a request for you.”
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, told the court that the restoration of the case raises apprehensions about the possible arrest.
In his petition, Yediyurappa questioned whether a High Court can proceed to take action “under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a public servant without prior sanction on the ground that he had allegedly demitted office which he was alleged to have abused”.
The Karnataka High Court had refused to quash an first information report filed against Yediyurappa and imposed of a fine of Rs 25,000 on him. The complaint alleged charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery of documents for withdrawing the approval of the land. Former Principal Secretary VP Baligar and former Managing Director of Karnataka Udyog Mitra Shivaswamy K are among the other accused in the case.