In a relief for former Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka High Court granted an interim stay on Friday on investigations of FIRs registered against him by the Anti-Corruption Bureau(ACB) regarding a land de-notification case.
The allegation against Yeddyurappa was that he misused his authority as the Chief Minister in 2011 to denotify 257 acres of land, which had been notified for the formation of the Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout. While the Bangalore Development Authority had issued a preliminary notification for 3,546 acres, it was alleged, the then Chief Minister had directed that 257 acres be dropped from the notification after receiving applications from landlords.
The ACB had registered two FIRs against Yeddyurappa on August 10 and August 17, based on a complaint by a person named D Aiyappa.
According to a report in The Hindu, Justice Aravind Kumar, in his interim order, said that there was lack of evidence against the accused. The court noted that letting the investigation continue would violate the constitutional right of the accused.
The court also rejected the ACBâ€™s plea that Yeddyurappaâ€™s plea is not maintainable as the law bars courts from interfering into investigations. The order said that High Courts are barred from staying investigations in corruption cases only after a case is in a post-cognizance state.
The court said that the long delay in filing FIRs after the initial complaint was received was not acceptable. It also refused to accept a second FIR in the case, registered a week after the first, on the grounds that they were based on the same set of facts.
Yeddyurappa had alleged that the FIRs registered against him were done as a political vendetta, and that the ACB was being used to target Opposition leaders as a retaliation to the Income Tax raids on Energy Minister DK Shivakumar.