Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa suffered a political setback on Thursday after the Special Lokayukta Court ordered the Lokayukta police to investigate allegations of corruption against Mr. Yeddyurappa, his kin and associates.
Judge Chandrashekhar Hipparagi gave the Lokayukta police six weeks to submit its findings. He held that a prima facie case had been made out against the accused based on the complaint and documents submitted by Sirajin Basha.
“Given the gravity of the allegations, the court has preferred to refer the case for investigation to the Lokayukta's Superintendent of Police for Bangalore district under Section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC),” said advocate C.H. Hanumantharaya, who is representing the complainant.
Besides Mr. Yeddyurappa, his sons B.Y. Raghavendra, MP, and B.Y. Vijayendra, his son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar, the former Minister S.N. Krishnaiah Setty, and Davalagiri Property Developers Ltd., partly owned by his kin, have been named co-accused along with other close associates.
The case referred for investigation includes three instances of alleged fraud, nepotism and misuse of power.
The first one relates to one acre and twelve guntas of land that had been identified by the BDA at Rachenhalli for Arkavathy Layout, which was allegedly illegally denotified and purchased by Mr. Yeddyurappa and his kin. The second one is about 16 guntas of land in the same area that was similarly denotified and acquired, and third one is about 47,972 sq. ft of public land in Vyalikaval area of Bangalore alleged to have been illegally purchased by Davalagiri Developers.
Mr. Hanumantharaya said: “The Lokayukta police are now required to register a crime and despatch an FIR to the court under rule 1194 of the Karnataka Police Manual.”
However, according to Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, the investigating agency “cannot register an FIR.”
Speaking to The Hindu, he said that the complainants and lawyers “are talking about an FIR because they are under the impression that the particular person will be forced to resign from office. Whether he resigns or not is left to his moral attitude.” The court did not find enough grounds to register a case, but did not think it fit to dismiss the case either, he said.
Mr. Yeddyurappa's lawyer Sandeep Patil stated that they may go on appeal to the High Court.
However, according to Mr. Sirajin Basha, the order was a “major victory for the people of Karnataka. The court has found enough grounds to believe that our complaint merits further investigation.”