BANGALORE: Karnataka High Court today reserved orders on a petition filed by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa challenging Governor H R Bhardwaj's August 3 sanction to prosecute him in connection with a case based on Lokayukta report into illegal mining.
A Division Bench comprising Justices K Bhaktavatsala and K Govindrajulu reserved the orders following conclusion of arguments by Yeddyurappa's counsel Ashok Harnahalli and Counsel for the Governor Nagananda.
Governor H R Bhardwaj accorded sanction to prosecute Yeddyurappa on the basis of the Lokyukta report on illegal mining submitted by then Lokyukta Sanotsh Hegde and subsequently an FIR was registered against him.
Harnahalli claimed the Lokayukta report lacked 'substance' as it is merely an investigative report through which the state government wanted to know about illegal mining.
The report did not even for once implicates Yeddyurappa over financial transactions between South West Mining Company and Prerana Education Society (PES), a trust owned and managed by his family members in Shimoga, he submitted.
The recommendation to prosecute him was also a violation of a Division Bench order which states that notices should be issued and explanation sought from those coming under the scope of the (Lokayukta) probe, he submitted.
Harnahalli also said that neither the South West Mining Company or Jindal Steels, whose applications seeking mining leases pending since 2003, have been involved in mining activity in the state.
According to the Lokayukta findings, South West Mining Company had donated Rs 10 crore to the trust while Jindal Steels purchased an acre of land (from the chief minister?s family members) on Bangalore outskirts for Rs 20 crore much above the guidance value of Rs 1.40 crore.
Countering Yeddyurappa's arguments, Nagananda submitted that the Lokayukta report was not a mere report, but contained prima facie evidence against those involved in illegal mining.
"The governor had taken cognisance of the findings and initiated action against Yeddyurappa and others," he stated.