NGO faces questions from SC in case against DKS

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An NGO on Tuesday faced some searching questions from the Supreme Court for seeking prosecution of Congress leader D K Shivakumar in an alleged case of corruption in which the charge sheet filed by the Lokayukta police was quashed by the Karnataka High Court.

The apex court questioned the NGO, Samaj Parivartan Samudaya, which was not the original complainant in the case in which allegations were raised that Shivakumar as revenue minister in Karnataka in 2010 had changed the land use of forest land for residential purposes.

When the matter came up for hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde wanted to know from the NGO's counsel Prashant Bhushan as to what has happened with the case filed by it before Lokayukta.

Bhushan told the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, that there were two other complainants before the Lokayukta on whose direction the charge sheet was filed before a special court which was later quashed by the high court.

He submitted that the NGO filed an intervention application when the two original complainants preferred to withdraw the appeals against the high court order.

The bench questioned the locus of the NGO in pursuing the case saying, "You cannot do piggyback, you cannot ride on somebody's shoulder".

When the bench said it wanted to know about the status of the complaint filed by the NGO, Bhushan said he will file a detailed affidavit and explain about the role played by the civil society that led to the filing of the charge sheet by the Lokayukta police.

This argument did not impress the bench which said, "We don't want to know the role of the NGO but what happened to your complaint."

The apex court asked Bhushan to show within two weeks if the NGO had previously filed a complaint with the Lokayukta.

"We are not clear who you are in this case. We want to know when did you file complaint before Lokayukta and what happened to it. We wish to know what you have done," the bench said.

Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and P S Narasimha, appearing for the leaders, opposed Bhushan's submission and said the NGO was not a party to the proceedings and never made a complaint before the Lokayukta.

The issue relates to denotification of 4.20 acres of land allegedly in contravention of the Karnataka Restriction of Transfer of Land Act, 1991.

A special court in Karnataka had in February, 2012 taken cognisance of a private complaint filed against Yeddyurappa, Shivakumar and others in the matter.

The high court had in December 2015, however, quashed the criminal proceedings initiated on the complaint.

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