Inquiry officer misled Lokyukta: Yeddy

HC declined to pass an interim order to stay proceedings in the Special Lokayukta Court, which issued summons to Yeddyurappa.

Bangalore: Former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Thursday told, the Karnataka High Court his indictment by Lokyukta in its report on illegal mining was `most irresponsible` action and the anti-corruption watchdog was `misled` by the inquiry officer.

"Where does corruption come in the donations, Rs 10 crore given to an educational trust and Rs 20 crore for building an auditorium?" senior Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Yeddyurappa said.

Observing that there was "no mention of Yeddyurappa`s name in the entire document", Jethmalani, also a BJP MP, said the then Lokyukta Santosh Hegde had been "misled" by the enquiry officer.

Terming the indictment as "most irresponsible action," he contended that the former Chief Minister "deserved to be protected and heard."

The allegations were "without any credible evidence and perverse" without calling for any explanation, he submitted.

In his petition, Yeddyurappa, who was forced to quit in the wake of his indictment, has sought quashing of Chapter 22 of the report, which refers to certain financial transactions between South West Mining Company and Prerana Education
Society, in which his two sons are trustees.

Yeddyurappa`s sons should have been given an opportunity to explain, instead of (the Lokayukta) just going by the report filed by inquiry officer U V Singh, Jethmalani told the bench comprising Justices K L Manjunath and H S Kempanna.

He said, the lease granted to the mining company was in 2007 "when Yeddyurappa was not Chief Minister. It was somebody else who was Chief Minister at that time".

No favouritism was shown to the mining firm, he submitted.

After hearing Jethmalani`s submissions, the Court posted the petition to August 29 for orders.

Meanwhile, a division bench of the High Court today, declined to pass an interim order to stay proceedings in the Special Lokayukta Court, which on August 8 issued summons to Yeddyurappa to appear before it on August 27 in connection with an alleged illegal denotification of land when he was Chief Minister.

Yeddyurappa`s counsel Jethmalani submitted that his client strongly apprehends that the Special Lokayukta court might convert the summons into warrant and remand him to judicial custody, when he appears before it.

"We decline to grant the request of the petitioner," the bench comprising Justices Ajit J Gunjal and B V Nagarathna said.

Earlier in the morning, the court allowed Yeddyurappa`s petition, seeking to implead the state government as one of the parties in the case, where he has challenged the January 21sanction accorded by the Governor H R Bhardwaj to prosecute him in the alleged denotification scam.


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