Bhardwaj's long-drawn tussle with Yeddyurappa

His first outburst against the BJP rule was in connection with law and order in the state in the wake of series of attacks on churches and prayer halls. In an interview with Deccan Herald, Bhardwaj said he was unhappy with the law and order situation in the state.

With that he had shown the government he would not remain a mute-observer of the developments, but would comment as and when necessary. Since then the governor and the government have been at loggerheads on one or the other issue. At once, the governor admitted that he was a Congressman and he was in the place at the pleasure of AICC president Sonia Gandhi. His long-time association with the first family of the party made Congressmen visit Raj Bhavan often and petition the governor whenever there was an allegation against the BJP government.

Leaders of the Congress and the JD(S) submitted a series of petitions against the Bellary Reddys alleging that they were involved in illegal mining by disturbing boundary marks on the border between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The governor asked the Chief Minister to take action against the Reddys and attracted  the wrath of the ruling party.

The tussle between the two reached its peak, when the governor recommended the Centre to impose the President’s rule in the state following chaotic scenes in the Assembly on the day when Yeddyurappa sought the vote of confidence.

The BJP took serious exception to the governor’s act and raised voice against him at the national level. Surprisingly, the governor offered the Chief Minister one more chance to prove majority and termed it a charity for the BJP.

Bills

The Raj Bhavan and the cabinet had differences on the issue of clearing bills as well.
The governor refused to give his assent to the controversial anti-cow slaughter bill, irritating the BJP which was advocating the bill. The ruling party appealed to the President in this connection.

Similarly, the governor refused to promulgate an ordinance to withdraw a previous ordinance which reduced representation for backward classes in the local bodies. The governor defended his action stating that the ordinance was against a Supreme Court verdict which restricted representation of backward classes in the local bodies. Besides, he had expressed his displeasure when the government proposed bills scuttling powers of the governor in universities. The BJP government was irritated when the governor appointed vice-chancellors ignoring the government’s choices.

Recap

*June 2009: H R Bhardwaj assumes charge

*Sept 2009: Media reports land scams involving CM

*Oct 11, 2010: CM faces floor test; Guv recommends president’s rule in State

*Oct 14, 2010: Second floor test; CM proves majority

*Dec 15, 2010: Guv writes to CM seeking information on allegations

*Dec 28, 2010: Two advocates file petition seeking sanction to prosecute CM

*Jan 3, 2011: Guv asks govt to furnish documents by Jan 20

*Jan 21, 2011: Guv sanctions permission to prosecute

Prosecution ball set rolling

As per the section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, permission of the competent authority is necessary to prosecute a public servant. The Governor is the competent authority to allow prosecution against the Chief Minister. Here are the legal aspects of prosecution and what would happen next to the Chief Minister with respect to this case...

What is prosecution?

Trying a criminal complaint by a designated court.

What can the two advocates who secured permission from the Governor do now?
They can file a private case before the special judge in the sessions court under section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code against the Chief Minister. They can also file a case before the Lokayukta court under the Prevention of Corruption Act. They are also free not to file a case.

What will happen next?

The designated court will first take cognisance of the case. If the court finds any prima facie evidence, then it may take up the trial and can also issue summons to the accused (the Chief Minister). The sessions court can also ask the Lokayukta Police to conduct an investigation into the charges. If a case is lodged before the Lokayukta court under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Lokayukta court can ask the Lokayukta Police to investigate.

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