Supreme Court grants relief to Karnataka CM in land denotification case


Yediyurappa also contended that the HC should have appreciated that he was not named as an accused in the private complaint.

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed criminal proceedings against Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddiyurappa in connection with a 10-year-old case related to denotification of 24 acres of government land acquired for an IT project.

Yediyurappa, accused of involvement in the illegal allotment of the land to private individuals, had challenged the Karnataka High Court’s March 21 order that had rejected his petition seeking quashing of the criminal case. He said the HC could not have directed the trial court to take cognisance of the offence without prior sanction against him, a public servant.

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Senior counsel KV Vishwanathan, appearing for the CM, told a bench led by Chief Justices SA Bobde that the award of contracts was a bona fide administrative decision in which an FIR and a charge sheet could not have been filed without prior sanction.

Yediyurappa also contended that the HC should have appreciated that he was not named as an accused in the private complaint.

The HC, while refusing to quash the criminal case, had asked a special court to take note of the allegations against Yediyurappa and proceed on the basis of a charge sheet filed by the Lokayukta in 2012. The HC had also asked a special court to reinstate the case after it was dropped in July 2016 while dismissing a complaint filed by Bengaluru-based industrialist Alam Pasha.

The land in north Bengaluru taluk in an SEZ area was acquired by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board in 2006 to set up a hardware park. But it was later denotified and released to private individuals.

The charge sheet by the Karnataka Lokayukta had accused the CM of abusing his position to illegally cancel government acquisition of land for industrial purposes, thus causing losses to the state exchequer through waiver of service charges and development fee.

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