Karnataka governor allows Yeddyurappa’s prosecution
BANGALORE - Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj late on Friday permitted filing of criminal cases against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over “various grave allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct”, overruling the Bharatiya Janata Party’s strong protests.
The permission to launch criminal proceedings against BJP’s first chief minister in south India was sought by two Bangalore advocates, Sirajin Bashan and K.N. Balaraj, on December 28 following revelation that Yeddyurappa had favoured his kin with prime land in and around Bangalore.
Bhardwaj noted that Bashan and Balaraj had sought his permission “under section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 for prosecuting” Yeddyurappa “for various grave allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct”.
Their plea “has been considered by His Excellency the Governor of Karnataka and he has granted the sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister Shri B.S. Yeddyurappa, by an order passed by him this evening”, the governor’s office said in a release.
Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code deals with ‘prosecution of Judges and public servants’ while section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act deals with ‘previous sanction necessary for prosecution’ of public servants.
There was no immediate reaction from Yeddyurappa or the BJP.
“We will let you know as soon as we take a decision,” BJP spokesperson S. Prakash told IANS.
Bhardwaj’s sanction comes despite Yeddyurappa’s and his cabinet’s strong objection to the governor even considering the plea of the advocates.
On Wednesday, Yeddyurappa had written a three-page letter demanding that Bhardwaj should not consider the plea as he was ‘biased’.
His letter was followed with a cabinet resolution which also cast doubts on Bhardwaj being ‘fair and judicious’ in his decision.