HC stays Padmaraj panel inquiry into land scams

HC stays Padmaraj panel inquiry into land scams

Hearing a petition filed by Y S V Datta, a member of the Legislative Council and spokesperson of the JD(S), the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice A S Bopanna also allowed the petitioners to implead the chief minister and the Lokayukta in the matter.

When the matter came up for hearing, Additional Advocate General K M Natraj submitted that Justice Padmaraj would probe the land-grab allegations against the chief minister and his family members, and sought time to file objections.

The Bench observed that the matter needed further adjudication, and hence it was necessary to issue a notice to the Padmaraj Commission of Inquiry. It then adjourned the hearing.

Meanwhile, petitioner Datta filed a memo before the Bench seeking direction to implead B S Yeddyurappa and the Lokayukta as respondents in the case. The Bench allowed the petition.

Datta had challenged the State government order to appoint the Justice B Padmaraj Commission to probe land scams in the State since January 1, 1996 to November 22, 2010.

He had also challenged the State government's communication dated December 6 requesting the Lokayukta not to proceed with the inquiry into alleged land grab cases.

The petitioner pointed out that the Lokayukta had already taken cognisance of the
matter and had issued notice to the chief minister in the land deal case and therefore, a parallel inquiry would lead to different findings by two agencies.

Senior counsel Ravivarma Kumar appearing for the petitioner on Thursday had submitted that the Commission has been appointed just to avoid a Lokayukta inquiry into illegal land deals.

Kumar also contended that Datta had filed the complaint before the Lokayukta on November 18, the day on which the Cabinet appointed the inquiry commission.

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