The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday restored a private complaint against former Chief Minister and senior BJP leader BS Yediyurappa and his family members, accusing them of taking bribe for awarding government contracts. A sessions court here had dismissed the plea seeking a probe into the allegations as the then Governor had refused to sanction it.
TJ Abraham, a social activist, had lodged the complaint alleging that Mr Yediyurappa and his family members had taken bribe from Ramalingam Construction Company and other shell companies in return for awarding Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) contracts. He had sought a special investigation team (SIT) investigation into the charges.
The Governor's rejection of sanction has to be ignored, the high court said in its order today, as such a request is to be made by a police officer of an investigation agency and not by the complainant. Hence, TJ Abraham approaching the Governor for sanction was of no legal significance and the Sessions Court need not have rejected the complaint due to that reason, the HC noted.
Others named in the complaint are Mr Yediyurappa's son BY Vijayendra, grandson Shashidar Maradi, son-in-law Sanjay Sree, Chandrakanth Ramalingam, current BDA chairperson and MLA ST Somashekar, IAS officer GC Prakash, K Ravi and Virupakshappa.
After the sessions court dismissed the complaint on July 8, 2021, saying it was “not maintainable in the absence of valid sanction,” the complainant approached the High Court.
Justice S Sunil Dutt Yadav had heard the matter and reserved the order. The judgement was pronounced today. Allowing the petition in part, the HC set aside the order of the Sessions Court and directed the sessions court to hear afresh the complaint.
“The Special Court may proceed from the stage post presentation of Private Complaint." “The rejection of the sanction for prosecution would not come in the way of continuance of proceedings against the Accused No.1 (BS Yediyurappa) upon restoration of the complaint,” the judge said.
The complainant had asked the Special Court to take cognizance of the alleged crimes under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
However, the judge said the Special Court has no authority to take cognizance under the PMLA Act and the complainant has to go through proper procedure.
The complainant had alleged that the work order was issued in favour of Ms Ramalingam Construction Company Pvt Ltd by the BDA. IAS officer GC Prakash demanded Rs 12 crore bribe for the same on behalf of Mr Yediyurappa, it said. Chandrakanth Ramalingam is accused of handing over the cash to the tune of Rs 12 crore to K Ravi. This was allegedly collected by Mr Prakash and paid to Mr Yediyurappa through his son.
It is also alleged that BS Yediyurappa, BY Vijayendra, Shashidar Maradi and Sanjay Sree indulged in money laundering using shell companies.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)