The Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed an inquiry into the corruption charge against BJP MP and former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa in a land deal for lack of evidence from the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
“As this court finds lack of material in the complaint and preliminary investigation by the ACB for registering the two FIRs against the petitioner (Yeddyurappa), this court grants an interim stay against its inquiry into the corruption charge,” said Justice Aravind Kumar after hearing both the parties.
“The delay by the ACB in registering the FIRs also caused prejudice to the accused (Yeddyurappa),” he observed.
Yeddyaurappa, who represents Shivammoga constituency in the Lok Sabha and is the party’s state unit President, filed a writ petition in early August for quashing the FIRs, the ACB registered on a complaint by Appaiah, a member of the social organisation Jana Samanya Vedike, early this year.
“The complainant (Appaiah) is a supporter of the ruling Congress who accused Yedduurappa of benefitting monetarily by releasing the government land (257 acres out of 3,546 acres) notified to form housing layouts in Bengaluru for the public during his tenure as Chief Minister (2008-11),” BJP’s spokesman B Shantaram told IANS.
As the land acquisition for the residential layouts was not completed, the question of releasing it from the government control (de-notification) does not arise, he said.
Yeddyurappa had alleged that the state government was using the ACB to target him “in retaliation” to the recent Income Tax raids on state Energy Minister DK Shivakumar in early August.
Justice Kumar also took cognisance of Yeddyurappa’s submissions that the ACB had not followed its rules, including seeking sanction from a competent authority before registering the FIRs against him.