[Land Denotification Case] Supreme Court Stays Karnataka High Court Order Reinstituting Criminal Case Against Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa
The Supreme Court led Bench comprising Hon’ble Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna & Justice V Ramasubramanian has stayed the Karnataka High Court order passed in March 2021 by Single Bench comprising Justice John Michael Cunha to set aside the order passed by Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act which dismissed the complaint of corruption that was filed against Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa & former Minister of Large and Medium Scale Industries Katta Subramanyam & directed the Special Court to take cognizance of the offences made out in the charge sheet against Yeddyurappa & Subramanyam & proceed in accordance with law.
“In the meantime, there shall be stay of operation of the impugned order as well as stay of further proceedings in the Criminal Case.”, the order stated.
In the present matter, A Alam Pasha filed a private complaint u/s 200 CrPC requesting the Court to take cognizance u/s 7,10,13 & 15 of the Prevention of Corruption Act,1988 against nine accused persons. The Special Judge u/s 156(3) CrPC,1973 referred the complaint for investigation by the Superintendent of Police, Lokayukta. After investigation, a final report was submitted in which it was alleged that during his tenure BS Yediyurappa during his tenure as a CM from 2008-2012 illegally denotified 20 acres of private land from land acquisition proceedings to give undue advantage favour to private parties & cause loss to public exchequer by forfeiting service fee of Rs 2,64,00,000 & development fee of Rs 6,00,00,000. In the charge sheet similar allegations were levelled against Katta Subramanya Naidu too. In 2016, the Special Judge dismissed the case. It was observed that,
“There are no allegations in the complaints against the charge sheeted accused BS Yediyurappa & Katta Subramanya Naidu. When there are no allegations made against the charge sheeted accused No 1 & 2 in the complaint & non arriving of the said charge sheeted accused no 1 & 2 in the complaint, this Court is unable to take cognizance of the offence against the charge sheeted accused for the alleged offences.”
Challenging the dismissal, the petitioners approached the High Court & the Single Bench comprising Justice Michael Cunha re instituted the criminal complaint & observed that, “The reasoning of the Special Judge that there were no allegations in the complaint against the charge sheeted accused BS Yediyurappa & Katta Subramnya Naidu & therefore, no cognizance could be taken against them being contrary to the settled principles of law, cannot be sustained.”
The Supreme Court while admitting the SLP filed against the order of the Karnataka High Court on January 27,2021 stayed the arrest of Yediyurappa, "There shall be stay of arrest in the meantime."
Case Title: BS Yediyurappa v. A Alam Pasha & Ors | SLP(Crl) No. 2753 of 2021