BENGALURU: Turning down the arguments of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the Karnataka High Court on Thursday said that the writ petitions filed by former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa challenging the First Information Reports (FIRs) registered against him, are maintainable. It is required to be examined to ascertain whether cognizable offence is made out in the case or not, it said.
While answering three out of four questions framed after hearing the arguments of ACB, Justice Aravind Kumar observed that the writ petition itself is not maintainable. The judge is dictating the order on an interim prayer of stay sought by former chief minister on FIRs registered on the charges of denotification of 257 acres of land acquired for proposed Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout in city.
On the first question framed by the court that whether the writ petitions can be entertained under Articles 226 and 227 read with Section 482 of CrPc, the judge opined that the high court can exercise extraordinary powers in rare cases. Any enactment cannot take away the powers vested with the court under Articles 226 and 227. Hence, petitions are maintainable, the judge said.As far as second question on whether Section 19(3)(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act bars the court from staying the FIRs in corruption cases, the judge said there is no bar in law to stay the investigation in corruption cases as per the law laid down by the apex court.
While answering the third question whether ACB can register successive FIRs based on one complaint, the judge said that there can be no second FIR in same set of facts.In this case, the second FIR does not disclose the distinct or separate offence from the first FIR.
As such, this court is of the view that the second FIR cannot be construed as different or separate offence, on the basis of materials placed before this court at this stage.Earlier, the counsel of ACB contended that this court cannot stay the investigation in corruption cases as there is bar under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act. In counter, the counsel of Yeddyurappa argued against the contention of ACB.
Marathon 5-hour dictation in court
The fourth and the last question framed by the court was that whether the petitioner (Yeddyurppa) was entitled for interim prayer of stay ? The marathon dictation during which Justice Aravind Kumar answered three questions started at 10.45 am and continued till 4.45 pm on Thursday. He will answer the fourth question on Friday morning.