BSY not accorded principles of natural justice: AG

BSY not accorded principles of natural justice: AG

In his legal opinion to the Lokayukta, Advocate General (AG) S Vijay Shankar has said the principles of natural justice were not accorded to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa during investigations into allegations of kickbacks received by Prerana Trust owned by Yeddyurappa’s kin from South West Mining Company Limited.

Sathyanarayanana Rao, Lokayukta Additional Director General of Police, told Deccan Herald that this was the primary ground for the AG to declare the case unfit for appeal.

Rao, however, said the decision of the AG was not binding and that it had been conveyed by Upa Lokayukta S B Majage that a decision would be taken after detailed scrutiny of the opinion.

The reference to principles of natural justice comes in the wake of the fact that Yeddyurappa was not accorded an opportunity to explain himself, provided under Section 9(3) sub clauses (a) and (b) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984. 

But Shankar Bhatt, the chairperson of the Legal Cell of Lokayukta, said Section 9 was not attracted in this case, as it was specifically referred by the State government under Section 7(2-A) for investigation.

Majage remained tight-lipped and refused to comment, especially in the wake of an opinion being sought from the AG when it was not mandated. 

In the aftermath of the High Court quashing the FIR against Yeddyurappa in the mining case and setting aside portions of Chapter 22, B A Belliappa, the High Court counsel for the Lokayukta, had specifically advised the ombudsman to challenge the judgement in the Supreme Court.

Bhatt has also supported a challenge in the apex court stating that the High Court had not properly appreciated the fact that the writ petition filed by Yeddyurappa had the same grounds and sought the same relief as an earlier writ petition filed by him and was dismissed.

“The court should have held that the present petition filed is barred by principles of res judicata (the thing that has been judged). The earlier petition was withdrawn unconditionally without any prayer reserving the right to file a fresh petition. Even to file a fresh petition, the petitioner has not shown any subsequent event permitting him to file a fresh petition for the same relief,” Bhatt has opined.

The court has committed an error in observing the report of the Lokayukta, in the chapter on South West Mining Company based on Dr U V Singh’s report, has no connection with illegal and irregularities in mining, he said.

“While making these observations, the court has failed to take note of the reference which require the Lokayukta to comprehensively inquire into the charges, allegations, complaints of misuse and abuse of office, if any elected representatives, ministers and officers who held/hold offices of profit for pecuniary benefit pertaining to illegal/unregulated mining and incidental issues thereof, resulting in loss of revenue to the Government of Karnataka and public undertakings under the Government of Karnataka,” he says.