, New DelhiAbraham Thomas
The Supreme Court on Friday stayed further investigation against former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa in an alleged bribery case while continuing the probe against the other accused including the BJP leader’s son.
The order came on a petition filed by Yediyurappa, who challenged the Karnataka high court’s September 7 order restoring a private complaint filed against him by social activist Abraham TJ, who accused the former CM, while in office, to have received a bribe of ₹12.5 crore from a construction firm for a Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) housing project.
A bench of justices Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli issued a notice on Yediyurappa’s petition and sought response from the complainant (Abraham) within four weeks. “There shall be stay of further proceedings so far as the petitioner is concerned,” the bench said. “We are not staying the investigation qua other accused who are not public servants.”
The other accused in the case include the former CM’s son BY Vijayendra and a former minister and a bureaucrat among others.
The petition was argued by senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Siddhartha Dave, who argued that there was no sanction accorded to the complainant for proceeding with the complaint. They showed that a bar operates on the special court from referring the matter for investigation under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act without prior sanction.
The high court order interpreted this provision to apply to police and not in a case where a court has to order registration of case. “The bar under Section 17A of the PC Act would kick in only post-registration of FIR when the police are required to commence the investigation,” the HC held.
Earlier, a special CBI court dismissed the complaint on July 8 last year against which the complainant had carried an appeal in the high court.