BENGALURU: The High Court on Thursday provided temporary relief to JD(S) state president and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, who had moved the court fearing arrest after the Lokayukta special court rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the Janthakal mining case.
Justice Rathnakala passed an interim order directing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the mining case not to arrest Kumaraswamy till the next date of hearing.
The court also asked the investigating agency to file objections, if any.
During the hearing, Hasmath Pasha, counsel for Kumaraswamy, expressed apprehension that SIT could arrest the JD(S) leader if it was not specifically directed not to do so.
Pasha said this was the fourth round of litigation based on the same set of facts. The court has already quashed a case against Kumaraswamy. But after this, one T J Abraham filed a private complaint on the same set of facts.
“This is abuse of the process of law and this is how a political leader is being harassed. The vacation judge of the trial court granted interim anticipatory bail on May 16 and the very next day, Kumaraswamy appeared before SIT, which recorded his statement. But only the regular judge of the trial court rejected the anticipatory bail. Hence, SIT may arrest him,” Pasha argued.
Special Public Prosecutor, SIT, Govindan told the court that it had filed an application before the Supreme Court, seeking directions to probe the matter. Accordingly, the apex court issued the direction for the probe, he said and sought time to file objections to the anticipatory bail plea.
Justice Rathnakala adjourned the matter to Tuesday.
Lokayukta Special Court Judge Gopala on Tuesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Kumaraswamy, saying that relief cannot be granted as the allegations against him amount to economical offence, considering verdicts of Supreme Court in similar cases. Fearing his arrest, Kumaraswamy had quickly moved the Karnataka High Court seeking anticipatory bail.
Kumaraswamy is accused of pressuring IAS officer Ganga Ram Baderiya, the then Commissioner of Mines and Geology, to allow Vinod Goel of Janthakal mining company to lift iron and manganese ore dumped in Chitradurga in 2007.