No relief to Yeddyurappa over corruption complaints

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BANGALORE - A court here Saturday decided to begin recording Monday evidence against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over corruption and illegal land deal charges against him.

Additional City Civil and Session Court Judge C.B. Hippargi rejected the plea of Yeddyurappa’s son-in-law to stay hearing of the private complaints against the chief minister, his two sons, son-in-law and others over alleged corruption and illegal land deals.

Hippargi is hearing five complaints against Yeddyurappa and his family members filed by two advocates Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj after Governor H.R. Bhardwaj granted them permission to prosecute the chief minister and his relatives on corruption charges.

While Yeddyurappa himself has not challenged in courts either the governor’s sanction or filing of the five complaints, his son-in-law R.N. Sohan Kumar had petitioned Hippargi to reject the complaints.

Hippargi also turned down Sohan Kumar’s plea to make former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of Janata Dal-Secular an accused in the case.

Sohan Kumar’s plea was that corruption and other charges against Yeddyurappa and his family members were already being investigated by Lokayukta (state’s ombudsman).

Hippargi did not accept the plea and said he would begin recording evidence against Yeddyurappa and others from Monday.

After studying the evidence, Hippargi would decide whether he can take cognizance of the complaints or not.

If he decides to take cognizance of the complaints, formal case against Yeddyurappa and others would be registered and they would be summoned to give their versions.

Yeddyurappa’s continuation as chief minister would become difficult if Hippargi takes cognizance of the complaints.

Besides Yeddyurappa, others named include his two sons — B.Y. Raghavendra, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Karnataka, B.Y. Vijyendra — and Sohan Kumar.

Anup Chowdhary, advocate for Basha and Balaraj, told reporters that Hippargi’s decision meant that judicial process in the matter had begun.

Hippargi would decide after examining the evidence whether to summon Yeddyurappa and others named in the complaint, he said.

Yeddyurappa is accused of favouring his two sons, a daughter, son-in-law, sister and her daughter and son-in-law with prime land in and around Bangalore and also benefitting financially by denotifying large tracts of lands.

These lands were allegedly bought at hugely less than market price by people who invested money in his sons’ business ventures.

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