HC faults Lokayukta court in Yeddyurappa case

Karnataka HC observed the Lokayukta Court did not examine witnesses before taking cognisance of a private complaint against former CM Yeddyurappa.

Bangalore: Karnataka High Court on Monday observed
the Lokayukta Court did not examine witnesses before taking
cognisance of a private complaint against former CM BS Yeddyurappa relating to alleged land scams.

When a special procedure is prescribed (to be tried under
the Prevention of Corruption Act), it "requires the Magistrate
not only to examine the complainant but also all witnesses in
the case. In this case, it was not done," the court noted
during the hearing on a petition by Yeddyurappa seeking
quashing of two corruption cases against him.

Observing that merely hearing the complainant, taking
cognisance and issuing summons, places the accused at a
disadvantage, there being no investigation, Justice Anand
Byrareddy sought a clarification on this from the counsel for
the respondent Sirajin Basha, on whose complaint the cases
have been filed.

"In a serious case like this when you are putting down the
Head of the State, should not the court proceed with more
caution? Should not there be second look on all this?" Justice
Byrareddy asked.

Yeddyurappa was arrested in October in two other cases
filed on the basis of the private complaint and released on
bail. He has been accused of illegal land denotifications.

As arguments remained inconclusive today, the Judge
observed that a number of matters of public importance were
pending before the court because of this case and directed the
respective counsels to file their arguments in written form
and adjourned the hearing to January 5.

The court sought to know the "direct link between the first
accused (Yeddyurappa), the denotification of land and the
money received. "Who are the benamidars or the henchmen" who
received the money?"

To this counsel Nitin said "it is not merely denotifiation
but denotification as a means of abuse of office. It is the
timing of the payment and the one who receives it, which is
the clinching evidence".

He further submitted cognisance was taken by Lokayukta
Court judge "with application of mind, he went through the
complaint for over a month before cognisance was taken".

Senior counsel for Yedyurappa, Jayakumar S Patil argued
that for the allegations levelled in the complaints "there is
not a semblance of material evidence and no prima facie case
is made out".

"It was on these cases that the petitioner was issued
summons. No enquiry was conducted. It is an abuse of process
of the court and intentional harassment", he submitted.


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