The Supreme Court on Friday decided to hear on November 5 the petition for vacating the stay on proceedings against Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar for alleged corruption relating to denotification of land in Bangalore.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said that the request made by a two-judge bench to set up a special bench would be considered. The special leave petition relating to Shivakumar and others would also be heard “as early as possible”, the bench added. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for complainant B K Srinivasan, urged the court to vacate the apex court’s stay on proceedings initiated against the minister in May last year. The minister had reportedly purchased 4 acres and 20 guntas of land in Bangalore for Rs 1.62 crore in 2003.
The petitioner contended that the land use was changed from industrial to residential in 2004. Later in 2010, in collusion with the then-chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, the land was denotified from acquisition for sale to a private developer, the petitioner alleged. The apex court had earlier stayed proceedings against Shivakumar in the Lokayukta court, which took cognizance of the offence in July 2012, after a complaint was made by Srinivasan. The court had then requested the Chief Justice of India to constitute a special bench to decide if there could be stay on criminal proceedings in cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act in view of contradictory verdicts by two-judge benches in similar cases.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the minister, contended before the court that the matter related to Shivakumar had been tagged along with other matters which were to be decided by the special bench.
Bhushan, however, referred to the apex court order of March 10, which stated that criminal cases pending against MPs/MLAs should be disposed of within one year of framing charges. Citing ‘judicial discipline and propriety’, the bench, also comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and A K Sikri, put the matter for consideration before a special bench on November 5.