K’taka HC Refuses To Quash FIR Against Yediyurappa

Bengaluru: In a major setback to Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain his plea to quash a private complaint alleging that he had carried out ‘denotification of land recklessly’ when he served as the Deputy Chief Minister in 2006-07.

Judge John Michel Cunha in his order observed that he cannot accept the arguments placed by Yediyurappa’s counsel that the FIR be quashed. “To be precise, the entire complaint or the FIR is not quashed. An order passed in favour of accused number 1 (Congress leader R.V. Deshpande) does not benefit the petitioner (Yediyurppa),” the order stated.

The order also directed the Lokayukta court to keep watch over the investigation ordered by the criminal court in respect of the misconduct of public servants, MPs and MLAs involved in the commission of criminal offences.

The order further emphasised that the allegation prima facie disclosed cognisance insofar as the petitioner (Yediyurappa) needs to be investigated.

The judge also noted that accused number 1 (Deshpande) and petitioner (Yediyurappa) occupied public office at different times and in different capacities, and therefore, the argument that the private complaint cannot be construed as just a “conspiracy” and “general allegation”.

The judge asserted that the complaint clearly sought to prosecute the act of denotification of the land done by the petitioner (Yediyurappa) during his tenure as Deputy Chief Minister.

A complaint was filed against Yediyurappa stating that while he was the Deputy Chief Minister in 2006, he had ordered illegal deletion of land notified for IT parks in and around Bellandur and Devarabisanahalli.

The complainant, Vasudeva Reddy, had filed a private complaint in the Lokayukta special court in 2013, wherein he had stated that Yeddyurappa ordered denotification of four acres 30 guntas in survey number 49 in Devarabisanahalli and survey numbers 10, 18, 46/1 in Bellandur. He further alleged that following denotification, the lands were diverted for residential purpose.

The state government had declared the land between Whitefield and Electronic City as IT corridor during 2000-01 for the development of IT and IT-enabled services. The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) issued notification in respect of around 500 acres, and in the final notification in respect of only 434 acres including the land adjacent to the Ring Road between Sarjapur Road and Marathahalli which includes the villages of Bellandur, Devarabisanahalli, Kadabisanahalli and Kariammana Agrahara.