SC extends stay of further proceedings before trial court against BJP leader Yediyurappa, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Monday extended the stay on a Karnataka High Court order by which it had restored a private complaint against former chief minister and senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa and his family members, accusing them of “taking bribes” for awarding government contracts. A bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli asked Yediyurappa to implead the Karnataka government in his plea and issued notice to the state.

“We should have the benefit of the assistance of the state government in the matter, even though it is a case arising out of a private complaint,” the bench said.

At the outset, senior advocate Siddharth Dave, appearing for Yediyurappa, pointed out that the state has not been made a party to the matter.

The bench said it is extending its order issued on September 23.

On September 23, the top court had said, “There shall be a stay of further proceedings in PCR No. 40 of 2021, pending before the court of the LXXXI Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru (CCH-82) insofar as the petitioner is concerned till the next date of listing.”

On September 7, the high court had restored a private complaint filed by activist T J Abraham against Yediyurappa and others, accusing them of “taking bribes” for awarding government contracts.

A sessions court in Bengaluru had earlier dismissed a plea seeking a probe into the allegations of corruption against Yediyurappa as the then governor had refused to accord the sanction for prosecution.

Abraham had submitted the complaint, alleging that Yediyurappa and his family members had taken bribes from Ramalingam Construction Company and other shell companies in return for awarding Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) contracts.

He had sought a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into the charges.

The others named in the complaint are Yediyurappa’s son B Y Vijayendra, grandson Shashidar Maradi, son-in-law Sanjay Sree, Chandrakanth Ramalingam, current BDA chairperson and MLA S T Somashekar, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer G C Prakash, K Ravi and Virupakshappa.

After the sessions court dismissed the complaint on July 8, 2021, saying it was “not maintainable in the absence of a valid sanction”, the complainant had approached the high court.

Allowing the petition in part, the high court had set aside the sessions court’s order and directed the LXXXI additional city civil and sessions judge’s court to hear the complaint afresh.

“The special court may proceed from the stage post presentation of private complaint. The rejection of the sanction for prosecution would not come in the way of continuance of proceedings against the accused no.1 (Yediyurappa) upon restoration of the complaint,” the high court had said.

The governor’s rejection of the sanction had to be ignored, it had said, adding that as such a request was to be made by a police officer of an investigation agency and not by the complainant.

Hence, Abraham approaching the governor for the sanction was of no legal significance and the sessions court need not have rejected the complaint due to that reason, the high court had noted.

Abraham had moved the special court seeking a direction to police to take cognizance of the alleged crimes under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). However, the judge said the special court had no authority to take cognizance under the PMLA and the complainant had to go through proper procedure.

The complainant had alleged that the work order was issued by the BDA in favour of M/s Ramalingam Construction Company Private Limited. Prakash demanded a bribe of Rs 12 crore for the same on behalf of Yediyurappa. Ramalingam has been accused of handing over cash amounting to Rs 12 crore to Ravi.

This was allegedly collected by Prakash and paid to Yediyurappa through his son. It is also alleged that Yediyurappa, Vijayendra, Maradi and Sree indulged in money laundering, using shell companies. PTI MNL RC

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