SC declines to vacate HC stay on probe against BSY

SC declines to vacate HC stay on probe against BSY
The Supreme Court on Monday once again refused to vacate a stay granted by the Karnataka High Court on the Lokayukta investigation initiated against former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa into three cases relating to land de-notification in Bengaluru City.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Abhay Manohar Sapre asked the high court to dispose of the petitions filed by the senior BJP leader expeditiously. The court, however, allowed the State government to approach afresh, if there was some delay in deciding the matter.

The court had, earlier on November 30, declined to interfere with the high court’s interim order.

Appearing for the State government, senior advocate Vikas Singh made a fresh contention that the high court could not have granted interim stay in view of a statutory bar against it as stipulated under Section 19(3)(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, stating no court should stay the proceedings in corruption cases.

The bench, however, observed, “We don’t think that the statutory bar can stop the HC from exercising its power while entertaining a petition under Section 482 (of the Criminal Procedure Code) (inherent power for quashing the case).”

Singh, along with advocate Joseph Aristotle, submitted that there were a total 16 petitions filed by Yeddyurappa. They asked why there should be a stay on investigations.

The counsel also claimed that the high court’s order staying further proceedings in three cases was passed in the absence of the public prosecutor, affecting the principle of natural justice.

Senior advocate K V Viswanathan, appearing for Yeddyurappa, submitted that the matter was still pending before the high court, which was likely to hear the response from the Comptroller and Auditor General on December 16.

The bench said, “We are not saying anything, let the matter be disposed of expeditiously by the HC.”

The Lokayukta police had in June this year registered three FIRs against the senior BJP leader and others for the alleged offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Karnataka Land (Restriction on Transfer Act).

The three cases were related to de-notification of land measuring six acres and 18 guntas acquired by the Bangalore Development Authority for the formation of Banashankari V stage; one acre and 17 guntas for the formation of BTM IV stage; and one acre for the formation of further extension of Mahalakshmi Layout.

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