Although the Karnataka High Court quashed 15 FIRs in land denotification cases against former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, he is not totally in the clear as the state government can appeal against the decision.
The FIRs were registered by the Lokayukta police in June 2015 in cases relating to alleged denotification of BDA-acquired lands at Bilekahalli, Halagavadera halli, JB Kaval and other places in Bengaluru when Yeddyurappa was the chief minister.
The FIRs were registered based on a complaint lodged by RTI activist Jayakumar Hiremath to the Lokayukta in 2012 based on the CAG report on denotification of land acquired by the government for allotment of sites by the BDA.
Reacting to the verdict, the activist was still hopeful of the BJP vice-president being prosecuted.
Hiremath said, "This doesn't mean the closure of the case, since the state government is mulling over the legal options available to it."
The High Court also issued a direction not to register any case against the former CM using the CAG report as a premise.
"Why did the HC not dismiss my complaint when I filed it initially? Why did they asked me to go the Lokayukta when they knew all along that Lokayukta is not eligible to treat any case based on CAG report? Lokayukta passed the case for investigation to CID, who came out with a report in June 2015. Based on the CID report the Lokayukta police filed an FIR against Yeddyurappa," Hiremath said.
Based on a petition filed by BS Yeddyurappa, 23 out of 40 cases based on the CAG report have been quashed by a single bench of Justice Rathnakala of the Karnataka HC on the grounds that the report cannot be the sole basis to prosecute Yeddyurappa. Yeddyurappa also wanted the court to apply the same logic and quash the remaining 17 cases in the report.
According to Yeddyurappaâ€™s petition, it is not right for the Lokayukta police to launch a prosecution based on the CAG report as it is the property of the legislature, which should take a decision on the matter.
"Two months ago, the Karnataka Lokayukta had already moved the Supreme Court with a Special Leave Petition and the SC had advised the HC to expedite the hearing and pass an order on the petitions filed by Yeddyurappa," claimed Hiremath.
The state government, which has been made a party to this case, will study the judgement of the HC and take a decision on whether to go in appeal to a division bench or to the SC, he added.