SC asks NGO to show its role in complaint against BSY

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

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa flashes the victory sign before taking oath as Karnataka Chief Minister, at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru, Friday, July 26, 2019. (Credit: PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday told NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya that it cannot rely upon complaints filed by others to seek to reopen a corruption case against Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa and senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar.

"You cannot do piggyback, you cannot ride on somebody's shoulder," a three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde told advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO.

The court asked the counsel to show within two weeks if the NGO had previously filed a complaint with the Lokayukta. "We are not clear who are you in this case. We want to know when did you file complaint before Lokayukta and what happened to it," the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, added.

Bhushan, for his part, maintained that locus is alien to criminal law. He also said that the present case showed "bi-partisan nature of corruption in Karnataka".

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and P S Narasimha, appearing for the leaders, contended that the NGO was not a party to the proceedings in the criminal proceedings.

The matter related to land de-notification in Bengaluru in 2010 during an earlier stint of Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa to provide undue benefit to senior Congress leader D K Shivakumar.

A separate bench had in September permitted the NGO led by SR Hiremath to file a special leave petition against the Karnataka HC's judgement of December 18, 2015.

The NGO through Hiremath had earlier filed an intervention application which was strongly opposed by the counsel from Yeddyurappa and Shivakumar, saying a criminal case cannot be reopened at the instance of a third party. It maintained since the case was pertaining to corruption and the prosecution by Lokayukta did not proceed, it had intervened in 2016 in a pending matter before the top court.

Hiremath then sought to recall the order of February 21, 2019, whereby the petition filed by Kabbalegowda was “dismissed as withdrawn” by mentioning the matter. Prior to it, first complainant T J Abraham had also withdrawn his petition.

The issue related to the de-notification of 4.20 acre of land allegedly in contravention of the Karnataka Restriction of Transfer of Land Act, 1991 and in violation of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code.

In a special leave petition, Kabbalegowda, a social worker from Ramanagaram district, has challenged the Karnataka HC's order of December 18, 2015, quashing the proceedings initiated against the leaders as well as Hamed Ali, then working sub-registrar at Bengaluru South Taluk, and others. The trial court had on February 5, 2012, taken cognisance of the offences allegedly committed by the accused.

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