HC dismisses Yeddyurappa’s plea challenging registration of cases against him under PC Act, IPC, and Cr. PC
In a verdict that recognises the multiple legal remedies for people to lodge complaints related to corruption against public servants, the Karnataka High Court on Friday ruled that people in the State are not compelled to file complaints against public servants only under the provisions of the Karnataka Lokayukta (KL) Act.
Remedies available to a complainant under the provisions of the KL Act are in addition to those available under any other law, State or Central, including the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr. PC). A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna, delivered the verdict while dismissing two appeals filed by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
He had challenged the order of a single judge who had rejected his plea against two of the five complaints, filed by advocate Sirajin Basha, accusing him of indulging in corruption by misusing the office of the Chief Minister. It was contended on behalf of Mr. Yeddyurappa that provisions of the PC Act along with the provisions of Cr. PC or IPC cannot be invoked against a public servant on corruption charges after the enactment of KL Act in 1986 as it is a “special enactment” to deal with corruption charges in Karnataka.
Writing judgment for the Bench, Justice Nagarathna said: “Though there may be an overlap in the object of KL and PC Acts, we find the scheme of the two Acts are quite distinct… The PC Act is an adjective statute dealing with both substantive and procedural law, which is penal in nature, whereas the KL Act cannot be considered as a penal statute.” The jurisdiction of criminal courts or special court constituted under the PC Act is neither whittled down or fettered on account of provisions of the KL Act, and the Special Court does not act under KL Act, the Bench said. Analysing the provisions of both these Acts as well the Cr. PC, the court said these three enactments “operate in their respective fields and one enactment cannot substitute another enactment”.