In another major setback to former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday issued notices to him, his son BY Vijayendra and former state minister ST Somashekar in connection with a corruption case in a housing project.
Justice S. Sunil Dutt Yadav passed the order on a petition filed by Abraham TJ, a social activist and president of Karnataka Anti-Graft and Environmental Forum, Bengaluru.
The court has also ordered an inquiry into the complaint filed by Abraham.
Sashidhar Maradi, Sanjay Sree, Virupakashappa Yamakanamardi, all relatives of Yediyurappa, IAS officer GC Prakash, hotelier K Ravi, and contractor Chandrakanth Ramalingam are the other respondents in the petition.
It was alleged in the petition that when Yediyurappa was the Chief Minister of Karnataka, the state's governor refused to give permission to inquire.Since Yediyurappa is now a former CM, the inquiry can be held.
The lawyers for the petitioners have argued that since Yediyurappa is not the chief minister now, any prior permission is not needed to conduct his trial.
Abraham in his petition has levelled allegations of corruption to the tune of Rs 12.5 crore and said that evidence is available to prove the same in the case.
Abraham filed a private complaint in June against Yediyurappa and his family alleging illegal money transfers in approving a 2020 housing scheme. It was transferred by the High Court Divisional Bench, said Abraham in his petition.
The petitioner stated that the governor's permission was sought on November 20, 2020, for permission to conduct an inquiry against Yediyurappa, since he was the CM then. A complaint was filed with the ACB (anti-corruption bureau) on November 25. But on 15 December 2020, the ACB terminated the investigation of the complaint, alleged Abraham in the plea.
On June 4, 2021, at the Special Court of Criminal Prosecutions against people's representatives, a complaint was filed. Later, it was rejected on July 8.
Petitioner had stated that there was evidence supporting the investigation under section 156 (3) of the CRPC. But the court held that the hearing required the governor's permission.
On June 30, the special court ordered the governor's permission after hearing into the matter was refused on July 23, following which Abraham moved the High Court in this regard.
Since Yeddyurappa was the chief minister, he needed permission for enquiry against Yediyurappa. But Abraham has argued that his trial does not need any permission because he is not the chief minister now.
The hearing of the case has been postponed to next week.