Setback for Karnataka CM as court rejects closure report in land case

Wednesday 07th July 2021 07:14 EDT

BENGALURU: In another setback for Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, a special court for cases related to elected representatives dismissed the ‘B-report that had been filed by the Lokayukta police seeking closure of investigation against him in a 15-year-old case relating to denotification of prime land in Bengaluru.

The court also directed the Lokayukta police to expedite the investigation and furnish the final or additional report. Judge Sridhar Gopalakrishna Bhat noted, “The B-report submitted by the investigating officer under Section 173(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code is hereby rejected. Consequently, acting under Section 156(3) of CrPC, the Deputy Superintendent of Police attached to the police wing of Karnataka Lokayukta, Bengaluru, is hereby directed to investigate the matter further in the light of the observation made in this order and to file a final report expeditiously as per law.”

The court also reminded the investigating officer to keep in mind the observations made by the Karnataka High Court with regard to delay in conducting an investigation. The case pertains to the denotification of prime land in 2006 in the erstwhile Bellandur and Devarabeesanahalli village limits, close to the Outer Ring Road on the Varthur-Whitefield IT corridor and valued at over £10 million.

The land was acquired in 2000-2001 for an IT park. However, in 2006-07, Yediyurappa who was the Deputy Chief Minister in the Janata Dal Secular-BJP coalition government, denotified the land, according to a private complaint lodged by Vasudeva Reddy with the Lokayukta court, alleging irregularities.

The court directed the Lokayukta police to register a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act, which was done on February 21, 2015. In December 2020, Chief Minister Yediyurappa had filed a petition in the High Court seeking quashing of the case. He had contended that the High Court had quashed the same FIR against the then Industries minister and Congress leader R V Deshpande on October 9, 2015.

He told the court that the investigation against him based on the same FIR was illegal, but the court rejected his argument. Dismissing the petition, Justice John Michael Cunha directed the police to intensify the investigation. The Lokayukta police then filed a B-report seeking closure of the investigation, which Reddy had challenged.

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