Two and half months after he was forced to resign as Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa was on Saturday confronted with an arrest warrant in a land scam case but he surrendered later in the Special Lokayukta Court here, which remanded him in judicial custody till October 22.
The court also remanded his close associate, co-accused and former Minister, S.N. Krishnaiah Setty.
Earlier, as Mr. Yeddyurappa did not present himself in the court (citing “back pain”) when an order rejecting his bail plea was pronounced around 11.30 a.m., the judge issued the arrest warrant, directing the Lokayukta police to produce him.
But the warrant became null and void as Mr. Yeddyurappa turned himself in at 4.45 p.m. It was then replaced with a warrant instructing the Lokayukta police to escort him to the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison.
There was high drama in the court. Mr. Setty fainted while awaiting his arrest. He was swiftly removed in an ambulance to the prison hospital.
This is the first time in the history of Karnataka and second in the country that a former Chief Minister has been sent to jail on a private complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The other former Chief Minister who faced such action was A.R. Antulay of Maharashtra in 1984.
Lokayukta Court judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao's verdict comes nine months after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj sanctioned the prosecution of Mr. Yeddyurappa on a petition by legal activists Sirajin Bhasha and K.N. Balraj, who accused him, some of his Cabinet colleagues, relatives and associates of being complicit in the multicrore land scam.
The verdict related to two of the five corruption cases in which Mr. Yeddyurappa is the prime accused.
There are 15 accused in the first case and 10 (including Mr. Setty) in the second. Except the two, all the accused — including Mr. Yeddyurappa's sons B.Y. Raghavendra and B.Y. Vijayendra and son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar — were granted bail.
However, the court imposed a bail condition that Mr Yeddyurappa's sons and son-in-law produce the documents of Davalagiri Property Developers and Bhagat Homes Pvt. Ltd., for the period right from its inception till the date the complaint was filed.