Denotification: SC notice to BSY on plea against stay on probe

Denotification: SC notice to BSY on plea against stay on probe

The Supreme Court, on Monday, admitted for consideration a plea made by the Karnataka government against the stay of investigation into the role of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa in de-notifying lands, thereby causing losses to the state exchequer.

A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre issued notice to Yeddyurappa on a special leave petition filed by the Anti Corruption Bureau, Bengaluru city.

The court, however, refused to suspend ex-parte the Karnataka High Court's order of September 22, that had stayed the investigation into the matter.

It also sought a response from the state BJP president within four weeks, on the plea for staying the HC's order and allowing the investigation to go on.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the state government, contended that despite a statutory bar under Section 19(3) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the HC delivered a 120-page interim order to stay the investigation. "The HC has accepted a specious argument that investigation can be stayed," he submitted.

In its special leave petition filed by advocate Joseph Aristotle, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Bengaluru city contended that Yeddyurappa as chief minister in 2008 had ordered for dropping of 257 acres of land from notification at the instance of land owners and after having allegedly received monetary considerations. The government, at that point of time, had decided to acquire 3,546 acres of land for the formation of Dr K Shivarama Karanth layout in Bengaluru, comprising lands from 17 villages.

"The then chief minister had misused his office to order deletion of those tracts of land from notification, even though the BDA commissioner had indicated that such lands formed the centre of the proposed layout," it stated.

The ACB had lodged two FIRs against Yeddyurappa and five others in August this year on a complaint by social activist Dr Ayappa Dorey for the offences of cheating, criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act, after conducting preliminary inquiry. Following a notice issued to Yeddyurappa for joining investigation by the ACB, he approached the HC, which stayed the investigation till further orders.

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