High Court stays probe against Mayor

High Court stays probe against Mayor

The High Court on Wednesday stayed the investigation against Mayor Venkatesh Murthy in ‘bagair hukum’ land acquisition case.

Venkatesh Murthy had moved the High Court stating that the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), which initiated a suo motu case against him, had no powers to do so.

In his submission, Murthy said the incident did not make a case under Section 197 (obtaining false certificate) as there were no certificates involved. Stating that the BMTF, which was declared a police station in 1996, had been given a list of cases it can handle, he said the case involving him did come under that list.

Justice H N Nagamohan Das, who heard the matter, stayed further proceedings against Murthy for a week.

In 2004, Murthy and his wife K Prabha were allotted eight acres of bagair hukum land at Somanahalli village of Uttarahalli hobli in Bangalore South under a scheme for landless labourers. 

This year in May, residents of Somanahalli complained to the sub-divisional magistrate against the couple alleging that they had acquired the land by furnishing a false declaration. Subsequently, the allotment was cancelled.

On August 15, the BMTF registered a case against the Mayor and his wife and later summoned Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka to appear before it, as he had allegedly recommended the allotment of the land to the Mayor.

As an MLA of Uttarahalli constituency in 2004, Ashoka headed the Bangalore South Bagair Hukum Land Grant Committee.

‘Quash FIR’

Former minister Katta Subramanya Naidu has moved the court, seeking to quash the First Information Report, complaint and the charge sheet against him in connection with the multi-crore KIADB land acquisition scam.

Naidu has said as per the Lokayukta Act the police officers can only conduct search, but the officer attached to the Lokayukta has registered a suo-motu case under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

Pointing out that the allegations made in the FIR, the complaint, or the material of the prosecution even if they are taken at their face value and accepted in their entirety do not prima facie constitute any offence or make out a case against the petitioner.

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