The Supreme Court on Wednesday, gave relief to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa from arrest, in a corruption case concerning the 2011 de-notification of a housing project proposal for middle- and low-income groups on 26 acres in Bengaluru, allegedly to make “illegal monetary gain”.
The bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde had admitted the special leave petition filed by Yediyurappa and former State Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani, against a Karnataka High Court order allowing restoration of a criminal case against them in the alleged illegal land de-notification case.
The court, further, agreed to examine Yediyurappa’s challenge against the 5 January 2021 order of the Karnataka High Court that had restored the corruption complaint filed against him by a private investor, A. Alam Pasha, whose infrastructure development company had applied for the Rs 600-crore project before it was withdrawn.
Chief Justice SA Bobde said, “You are a sitting Chief Minister. Who will issue a warrant against you? At most, they can issue a request for you.” However, the top court did not stay the January 5 order of the High Court.
Karnataka High Court order
Earlier on 5th January, the Karnataka High Court had refused to quash an FIR filed against Yediyurappa in the alleged illegal land de-notification case and went on to impose a cost of Rs 25,000 on him.
Therefore, Yediyurappa approached the top court while citing that “By virtue of the impugned Judgement, the Hon’ble High Court erroneously set aside the aforesaid Order only on the ground that the Petitioner had demitted the Office which had allegedly been abused by him at the time of the commission of the alleged Offence and therefore no sanction was necessary to be obtained. The same is contrary to the settled law laid down by this Hon’ble Court in a catena of judgments as well as the provisions of the amended PC Act.”
Subsequent to the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act 2018, the Petitioner submitted, Section 19 thereof offer protection to a Public servant, “who is employed, or as the case may be, was at the time of commission of the alleged offense employed in connection with the affairs of a State.” Thus, it is contended that the impugned Judgement ought to be set aside on this ground alone.