Bengaluru: A Special Court in Bengaluru has ordered the registration of a ‘special criminal case’ against former Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa regarding alleged corruption in a land denotification issue when he was the deputy CM in the BJP-JDS coalition government in 2006-07.
Sessions Judge B Jayantha Kumar of the special court, set up exclusively to deal with criminal cases related to elected MPs/MLAs in Karnataka, has issued the order on March 26, based on a private complaint by one Vasudeva Reddy.
“Register a Special Criminal Case against the accused No.2 Sri B.S.Yediyurappa for the offence punishable under Sec.13(1)(d) R/w Sec.13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Issue summons to accused No.2 for his attendance only after filing of list of witnesses as required under Sec.204(2) Cr.P.C., and process fee is paid,” the order says.
According to the complainant, the state government under the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Act acquired 434 acres of land in Bellandur, Devarabeesanahalli, Kariyammana Agrahara and Amanibellandur Khane to establish an Information Technology park. The same was however denotified by Yeddiyurappa “in favour of private persons without any public benefit.”
The court in its order said the complainant has made a prima facie case against Yediyurappa, who has to be summoned to the court after due process.
“I am of the considered opinion that there are sufficient material to proceed against the accused by registering Special Criminal Case and summoning the accused No.2 for his attendance and give an opportunity to the complainant to establish his allegations against the accused No.2.
“I am of the considered opinion that there is nothing on record to disbelieve the case of the complainant at this stage. He has made out a prima facie case against the accused for the offence punishable under Sec.13(1)(d) R/w Sec.13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988,” the court noted.
Yediyurappa was the second accused in the original complaint filed by Vasudeva Reddy in 2013 with the then Industries Minister R V Deshpande being the accused number one. The case against Deshpande, however, came to be quashed by the High Court in 2015.
Yediyurappa remains the sole accused in this case now. The Lokayukta police which investigated the case filed a ‘B’ Report in the case giving a clean chit to Yediyurappa citing that there was no evidence of illegal gratification.
In a criminal case, the B Report submitted in court means that the police has completed the investigation and there is no offence made out against the accused.
The Special Court, though, had rejected the B Report in 2021.
In its latest order, the court has specified that the lack of evidence of illegal gratification to the accused does not prohibit initiating investigation under Section 13(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.