The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday ordered issue of notice to the Lokayukta police, the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, and some Ministers on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition complaining about ‘B’ report filed by the Lokayukta police indicating that allegations made against these persons in private complaints could not be established during the investigation.
The court also ordered issue of notice to Minister for Industries Murugesh Nirani, Higher Education Minister C.T. Ravi and his wife, Housing Minister V. Somanna and his wife, BJP MLA S.R. Vishwanath and his wife, and several others.
A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Sreedhar Rao and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed the order on the petition filed by city-based advocate L. Rajanna seeking a direction to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the cases where the Lokayukta police have filed ‘B’ report in cases involving politicians and Ministers after conducting probe based on the directions from the Special Lokayukta Court.
The petitioner has cited an Upper Bhadra Project case involving Mr. Yeddyurappa, and two cases of denotification of acquired land involving Mr. Nirani and Mr. Somanna where the Lokayukta police had filed ‘B’ reports. “The Lokayukta police is disabled to investigate in a fair and transparent manner in these cases. The present Lokayukta police wing is incompetent to conduct investigation in cases related to the Ministers and ruling party MLA’s,” the petitioner has contended.
In another case, the Bench ordered issue of notice to the government, Kannada and Culture Department, Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for releasing about Rs. 60 lakh as “donation” from the public exchequer to Karnataka Rakshana Vedike headed by T.A. Narayana Gowda, who is allegedly facing serious criminal cases.
In his petition, a city-based advocate Prakash Shetty has sought an inquiry into release of public money to the vedike in the name of “donation” by these authorities while terming release of funds to the vedike as illegal.
It has been pointed out in the petition that the BDA released Rs. 15 lakh during 2011-12, BBMP released Rs. 20 lakh during 2009-10 and 2010-11, and the Kannada and Culture released Rs. 25 lakh during 2011-12 for the vedike as “donation.”
The petitioner also sought an inquiry into the affairs and accounts of the vedike through the Registrar of Societies.
The Bench on Wednesday closed a PIL petition, which had sought investigation by an independent agency against Prabhakar Bhat Kalladka, a senior functionary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), for allegedly making “inflammatory” speech during a function at Uppinangadi on January 22, 2012. Suresh Batt Bakrabail of the Dakshina Kannada unit of the Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike had filed in the petition.
The court said the Uppinangadi police had already filed a ‘B’ report indicating that the allegations against Mr. Bhat could not be established, and the complainant, Shafi, had filed his objections against the ‘B’ report. As the matter was under consideration by the jurisdictional magistrate at Puttur, the High Court cannot interfere at this stage, the Bench said citing an order of the Supreme Court.