CAG to apex court: state can use its report in BSY cases

High Court had held the report can't be basis for registering FIRs

CAG to apex court: state can use its report in BSY cases

 The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has told the Supreme Court that the state government and its prosecuting agencies are free to take any decision on its reports relating to land denotifications undertaken during the tenure of the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

“The issue whether the report of the CAG could be made basis for initiation of criminal proceedings is a matter which would fall within the domain of the state government and its prosecuting agencies,” it said in an affidavit filed in the apex court. The stand taken by the CAG comes in support of the Karnataka government which, in its special leave petition, contended that the reports prepared by the constitutional body could be relied upon for initiating action for “cognisable offence” against Yeddyurappa.

The CAG’s affidavit came in response to a notice issued by the Supreme Court, which has been hearing the Karnataka government’s petition challenging the Karnataka High Court’s single-judge bench order of January 5, 2016.

The CAG submitted that it has undertaken performance audit on denotification of land by the state government and allotment of sites by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The audit findings were based on a sample determined at 40% of 126 denotification cases done by the government during 2007-12. The CAG also said its performance audit on land management was taken across the country in eight states and was not limited to Karnataka.

Allowing a batch of 15 petitions by Yeddyurappa, the high court had then held the CAG report could not be the basis for registration of FIRs relating to denotification of lands acquired by the BDA in Bilekahalli, Halagavaderahalli, J B Kaval and other places in Bengaluru city when he was the chief minister.

Yeddyurappa, on his part, has denied before the court any wrongdoing in passing orders for various denotification of land. He claimed the registration of 15 FIRs on the direction by the Lokayukta on the basis of CAG’s reports was “completely misplaced” and has rightly been quashed by the Karnataka High Court.

Responding to the apex court’s notice, Yeddyurappa said, “The CAG report cannot be the sole basis of registration of the FIR. Since the reports (2010-11 and 2012) submitted to the governor on November 21, 2012, is in the process of consideration of the Public Accounts Committee, no other authority can act upon the said report.”

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