Denotification: SC surprised over cops' failure to serve notice on landowner

Denotification: SC surprised over cops' failure to serve notice on landowner

Case pertains to education trust linked to BJP leader Somanna

Denotification: SC surprised over cops' failure to serve notice on landowner

The Supreme Court on Friday expressed surprise over the failure of Karnataka police to serve notice to a man, whose land in Bengaluru was denotified during B S Yeddyurappa's tenure as chief minister in 2009 for an education trust run by the then Housing Minister V Somanna's wife Shylaja.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan wondered how the police are not able to trace Lingaraju, the erstwhile land owner.

"If police can't find him, who will," the bench asked Additional Advocate General Devadutt Kamat, on being told that the notice issued by the court on September 4, last could not be served upon Lingaraju.

Kamat submitted a fresh notice could be issued and served through the trial court. But the apex court said the matter has not been pending over there with quashing of summons by the High Court of Karnataka.

The counsel then wanted permission to issue public notice but this was again rejected by the court.

The court issued fresh notice to Lingaraju and asked the police to ensure he was informed about it. Somanna was represented by advocate Sanjay M Nuli. The court was hearing a special leave petition filed by the Lokayukta police through advocate Joseph Aristotle challenging the high court's order of January 2, 2017. The high court had set aside the summons issued by a Bengaluru court against Somanna, Shylaja and the other person on April 13, 2012.

In a complaint, Ravi Krishna Reddy, a software engineer, alleged Yeddyurappa denotified 22 guntas in Nagadevanahalli in Bengaluru in 2009 to an education trust owned by Somanna's wife, in violation of rules. The police, however, filed a closure report saying there was no evidence of any offence. Rejecting the police report, the trial court took cognisance of the offences under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The special leave petition did not name Yeddyurappa as respondent as the high court order was passed on a petition by Somanna.

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