Bangalore: Amid pandemonium, a local
court on Monday adjourned to February 26 hearing of complaints
filed against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and
some of his family members including his son-in-law, over
allegations of corruption.
Additional Civil and Sessions Judge and Special Judge
C B Hipparagi adjourned the hearing for orders on the issue of
whether the accused has the right of audience before the
summons are issued by the court.
When proceedings began, counsel for Sohan Kumar
(Chief Minister`s son-in-law), filed a memo objecting to
senior counsel Anup Chowdary assisting advocate on record C H
Hanumantharaya appearing on behalf of the complainants.
Counsel Sandeep Patil submitted that since
Hanumantharaya was already appearing in the case as the
Special Public Prosecutor, he cannot sub-delegate his work to
another senior advocate.
Chowdary argued that there is no public prosecutor in
this case as it is a private complaint filed by city-based
advocates which has been accorded sanction by the governor.
"Is it necessary for the government to appoint a
public prosecutor in private complaint? You (judge) have to
see this first. Can a private complaint become a state case?
It is ridiculous," Chowdary said.
He submitted that the high court order quoted by the
defence counsel in the Katta Jagadish vs Lokayukta case "does
not apply here because it is a private complaint".
Quoting Supreme Court judgments extensively, Chowdary
said "such an objection was a mockery of law and travesty
of justice". As per an apex court judgment, he said, till the
summons of process are issued against the accused, he does not
have right of audience and cannot take part in proceedings.
"When he (accused) cannot be even heard and has the
right only to observe the proceedings, how can he file a memo.
The accused at this pre-process stage has no locus standi."
He submitted that a private complainant had every
right to engage a lawyer of his choice and "there is no law
which prohibits engaging a private counsel in case of a
Chowdary pleaded with the court to "send the right
message to the people of equal and fair treatment. And for
this it is necessary that the court must give orders for
recording of evidence under section 200 of the CrPC".
Senior counsel Ravi B Naik appearing on behalf of
Chief Minister argued that he had every right to be heard as
he "was just an applicant before the court not an accused at
His remark "I know how faithful the governor was (in
according the sanction", sparked off a wordy duel between
him and Chowdary who described him as an "intruder and an
Amid noisy scenes, Chowdary appealed to the court to
adjourn the case for further orders.