Governor playing a partisan role

Governor playing a partisan role

Ravi Shankar Prasad The entire complaint against CM Yeddyurappa is not only planted by the JD (S) supporters, but also sponsored by the governor. Hans Raj Bhardwaj’s record as Law Minister of India is too well known. He abused his authority to bail out corrupt people.

The most glaring case is that of Quattrocchi, where he sent a law officer to wrongly inform the British authorities that there was no case pending against Quatrocchi. This, in effect, gave them a green signal to defreeze Quattrocchi’s  London bank account holding the Bofors kickback money. 

The moment he went to Karnataka he started acting on a plan to bring back the Congress government through the back-door by abusing the authority of Raj Bhawan.

There is a pattern here - public comments, complaint to Election Commission against the Yeddyurappa government… One may recall his public comments on numerous occasions, most importantly his handling of the majority vote on the floor of the house.

Now let me come to the larger issue – the denotification of government land, which is what the complain is basically about. Denotifications were also done during the tenure of S M Krishna, Kumaraswamy, J H Patel, Deve Gowda and other Chief Ministers. The Karnataka Government has now taken a view that there should be a probe by a judicial commission about all denotified lands and sent the files of past chief ministers.

The hurry with which sanction has been granted raises a disturbing question about the mala fide intention of the Governor. The sanction of prosecution is part of a series of similar questionable actions taken by the Governor.

The rule of law requires that when a complaint is filed, there should be an investigation. Even if the matter is entrusted to CBI, it undertakes preliminary enquiry and then files a regular case.  Here, a complaint is filed against the Chief Minister, but there is no investigation into veracity of the allegation by anyone, and then without that elementary requirement, sanction is recommended.

I had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) against Lalu Prasad in the multi-crore fodder scam. The court first ordered for a CBI investigation though Lalu Prasad had rejected it. The CBI investigated for two years, filed a charge sheet and only then sought the sanction.

A Supreme Court judgment in the MP Special Police Establishment versus State of MP 2004 case makes an important point in Para 33: “Certainly, the Council of Ministers has to first consider grant of sanction. We also presume that a high authority like the Council of Ministers will normally act in a bona fide manner, fairly, honestly and in accordance with the law. However, on those rare occasions where on fact the bias becomes apparent and/or the decision of the Council of Ministers is shown to be irrational and based on non-consideration of relevant factors, the Governor would be right, on the facts of the case, to act in his own discretion and grant sanction.”  The Karnataka Governor cites other sections of this verdict such as Para 31 and 32 but completely omits the crucial Paragraph 33! In this case the complaint was not sent to Council of Ministers before the decision, no investigation done and the Governor granted sanction by bypassing the Council of Ministers.

(As told to Deepak K Upreti).
Mr Prasad is the chief national spokesman of the BJP 

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