SC stays criminal proceedings against Yediyurappa in land denotification case
B S YediyurappaIANS (File photo)

SC stays criminal proceedings against Yediyurappa in land denotification case

New Delhi, April 5, 2021

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the criminal proceedings against Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa ordered by the High Court in a land denotification case.

On January 27, the apex court had granted protection from arrest to Yediyurappa and Minister Murugesh Nirani in connection with a case, where they failed to grant 26 acres of land to private investor M Alam Pasha in 2011. The top court had then issued notice to Pasha on two separate petitions filed by Yediyurappa and Nirani.

"Issue notice. There shall be stay of arrest in the meantime," the court had said.

Today, senior Advocate K.V. Viswanathan, representing Yediyurappa, urged a bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, to issue an interim order in the case, as the trial court may proceed with the matter.

After a brief hearing in the matter, Bobde stayed the criminal proceedings against Yediyurappa, which were ordered by the High Court.

Pasha had accused the Chief Minister, Nirani and others of allegedly forging the documents to establish the withdrawal of approval of 26 acres of land to him in Devanahalli Industrial Area in Bengaluru Rural in 2011.

Yediyurappa's counsel had pointed that the earlier complaint was quashed by the High Court, which was restored later, and proceedings cannot be initiated against his client on the same complaint. The counsel had asked the top court to stay the proceedings initiated in Bengaluru court.

During the hearing, the bench had told petitioner's counsel, "You are the Chief Minister, who will issue warrant against you." The bench observed that against chief minister, the court usually issues letter of request and not warrant.

Yediyuruppa had argued that High Court erroneously allowed the petition by the complainant under 482 CrPC and set aside the well-reasoned order passed by a special judge in August 2016. "The 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 commission of alleged offence and therefore no sanction was necessary to be obtained," said the CM's plea in the top court.

Yediyuruppa and Nirani, now Mining Minister, moved the top court challenging January 5 High Court order, which allowed criminal proceedings against them. The High Court noted that Pasha's earlier complaint quashed for want of sanction, would not be a bar to maintain the instant complaint.

Pasha moved the High Court challenging the special judge's order of August 26, 2016. The High Court said it was contrary to the well-established principle of law that sanction for prosecution of the public servants was not necessary after they demit the office or retire from service. The High Court restored a fresh criminal complaint filed against them in the Bengaluru court.


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