In a temporary relief to the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, the High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) not to arrest him till the next date of hearing on a petition seeking anticipatory bail in the case related to alleged misuse of his office when he was the Chief Minister.
Justice Rathnakala passed the interim order after Mr. Kumaraswamy’s counsel expressed apprehension that the SIT could arrest Mr. Kumaraswamy after the Special Lokayukta Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail on Tuesday.
The High Court adjourned further hearing till next week, while asking the Special Public Prosecutor for the SIT to file objections to the petition.
The complaint was registered by a Special Lokayukta Court in 2011 based on a private complaint filed by one M. Vinod Kumar, who had questioned Mr. Kumaraswamy’s actions allegedly favouring a mining company and a housing building society.
It was alleged in the complaint that Mr. Kumaraswamy had abused his power in grant of mining permission to Janthakal Enterprises besides permitting it to lift an old stock of 1 lakh tonnes of iron ore. Also, the complaint had alleged that Mr. Kumaraswamy had allotted a bulk land of around 80 acres to Vishwabarathi House Building Cooperative Society in violation of norms and later the society allotted sites to some of his family members.
The High Court in October 2011 quashed case registered against Mr. Kumaraswamy and his wife.
On an appeal filed by the complainant, the Supreme Court in September 2016 set aside the High Court’s 2011 decision and ordered continuation of the criminal proceedings against Mr. Kumaraswamy and others.