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Karnataka HC refuses to quash FIR in land denotification case against CM BS Yediyurappa

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The Karnataka High Court on Friday dismissed the petition of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, seeking to quash the criminal proceedings pending against him under Prevention of Corruption of Act.

A Single Bench of Justice John Michel Cunha in his order observed that he cannot accept the arguments placed by Yediyurappa’s counsel that the FIR be quashed.

In 2013, Vasudeva Reddy had filed a private complaint in the Lokayukta Special Court, saying Yeddyurappa ordered denotification of four acres 30 guntas in survey number 49 in Devarabisanahalli and survey numbers 10, 18, 46/1 in Bellandur. He further alleged that following denotification, the lands were diverted for residential purpose.

Yediyurappa approached the High Court with the plea that the case against one of the other accused persons former industrial minister R.V. Deshpande of the Congress party had been quashed by the court on October 9, 2015. The High Court initially stayed the proceedings against Yediyurappa in April 2019.

Senior Advocate C.V. Nagesh appearing for Yeddyurappa had contended that, in respect of the very same FIR, accused No.1 Raghunath Vishwanath Deshpande had preferred W.P.No.8885/2015 and the High Court vide order dated 09.10.2015 quashed the FIR. In view of the order, the investigation against the petitioner based on the very same FIR is illegal and amounts to abuse of process of court.

The Bench directed the Lokayukta court to monitor the investigation ordered by the courts in respect of the misconduct of public servants and MPs and MLAs involved in the commission of criminal offences.

The court also pulled up the Lokayukta for not completing the investigations against Yediyurappa between 2015 and 2019, when there was no stay on it.

The judge asserted that the complaint clearly sought to prosecute the act of denotification of the land done by the petitioner (Yediyurappa) during his tenure as Deputy Chief Minister.

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Dismissing the petition, the court pulled up officials over pending investigation and ordered a thorough probe in the case registered against the Chief Minister.

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