BENGALURU: In relief to B S Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s investigation against the state BJP president in the land denotification case when he was Chief Minister. Justice Aravind Kumar granted the interim stay on the grounds of lack of sufficient material to prove cognisable offences of Yeddyurappa under the Prevention of Corruption Act or IPC, both in the complaint and preliminary probe conducted by ACB.
“After hearing both parties, this honourable court finds lack of material in the complaint and preliminary investigation conducted by ACB for registration of the FIRs against the petitioner, in this case Yeddyurappa, and hence this honourable court grants interim stay on the matter,” Justice Kumar said.
The judge observed that the inordinate delay in registering the FIRs after receiving the complaint against Yeddyurappa raises suspicion about the intent of ACB, which is under the control of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
While passing the interim order, Justice Kumar pointed out four suspicions created by the ACB while registering two FIRs against Yeddyurappa and in conducting the preliminary investigation into the allegations that he deleted/dropped 257 acres of land from acquisition made for the proposed Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout.
According to the judge, the first suspicion was that the ACB itself was not sure about there being any allegations committed. The second suspicion was that the ACB adopted ‘pick and choose’ method in taking up preliminary investigation. Among 21 instances of denotification of 257 acres, the ACB picked up 11th item (Asha Pardeshi’s case) for preliminary investigation.
The third suspicion was that the second FIR was registered on very same complaint even though no fresh material was collected during the second inquiry. The last suspicion was that no reasons were given for the delay in registration of the first FIR on August 10, 2017, nine weeks after receiving the complaint on June 6, 2017.