SC refuses to quash anticipatory bail to Yeddyurappa

SC declined to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to BS Yeddyurappa by the state High Court in a corruption case relating to a mining lease.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to BJP strongman and former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa by the state High Court in a corruption case relating to a mining lease.

A bench of justices T S Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifulla, dismissing CBI`s appeal challenging the anticipatory bail, wondered what purpose would it serve by keeping the former Chief Minister in jail.

"Purchase and sale of land and making dondations by itself are not offences. That`s what the High Court has said. You conduct a proper investigation and file a chargesheet.

"Even if we assume there is a link, does it mean he should be inside"? the bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Mohan Parasaran appearing for the investigating agency.

The apex court brushed aside Parasaran`s plea that Yeddyurappa`s bail should be cancelled as he was "not cooperating" with CBI in the investigations.

"If he is not cooperating, then go and seek cancellation of his bail," the bench told the ASG.

The apex court also said it cannot interfere lightly with the grant of anticipatory bail as the same can be done only on the gravity of the case and the possibility of the accused jumping the bail.

Parasaran submitted the findings of the high court, while granting anticipatory bail to Yeddyurappa, were not correct as it prima facie gave an impression that the charges against him were baseless and that there was no linkage between the alleged fraudulent transactions relating to grant of lease and funds transferred to him and his family`s account while he was the Chief Minister.

The apex court did not agree with Parasaran`s submission that the high court had gone beyond the question of granting the anticipatory bail and virtually gone into the merits of the case which he felt would adversely affect the investigation.

The bench said if the high courts give lengthy orders, they are criticised for doing so. "If they pass a short order, then you say no reasoning was given," the bench remarked.

However, the apex court said the investigating agency shall not be influenced in its probe in any manner by the observations made by the state high court at the time of granting the anticipatory bail.