In a relief to the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday quashed a private complaint filed by JD(S) legislator Y.S.V. Datta alleging corruption in awarding contract for the second phase of the Upper Bhadra Lift Irrigation Project.
Justice K.N. Keshavanarayana quashed the complaint while relying on the Supreme Court’s judgments that private complaint against public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act cannot be entertained unless the complaint was accompanied with prior sanction from the competent authority for prosecuting the public servant concerned.
No prior sanction
In this case, Mr. Datta had not obtained prior sanction from the competent authority to prosecute Mr. Yeddyurappa and hence the High Court held that the Special Lokayukta Court, which had in 2011 referred the complaint for investigation by the Lokayukta police, had no jurisdiction to look into it in the absence of sanction.
It was alleged in the complaint that Mr. Yeddyurappa had received Rs. 16-crore kickback from a joint venture company, RNS Infrastructure Ltd. and Jyothi Ltd., and awarded contract to it though this firm was the highest bidder.
Mr. Datta had claimed that the kickback was received through Sahayadri Care and Diagnostics Ltd. and Davalagiri Properties Pvt. Ltd. — firms owned by Mr. Yeddyurappa’s sons and other family members, from Murdeshwara Power Corporation (MPC), a sister concern of RNS group. After payment of amount, MPC entered into an MoU with Davalagiri to get 40 per cent of developed land of the 79 acres purchased by the latter for real estate purposes, it was alleged.
Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd., of which Mr. Yeddyurappa was Chairman, had awarded the contract for the project.