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Tense courtroom drama as HDK skips hearing yet again

Yeddyurappa kept date with the court yesterday, but Kumaraswamy failed to appear for hearing in an illegal mining case again; judge was to issue arrest warrant, but the HC granted him anticipatory bail at last moment
 
The courtroom drama on Monday had everyone on the edge of their seats, as the Lokayukta court almost ended up issuing an arrest warrant against former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy for not appearing as ordered. The tension was broken with the HC granting him anticipatory bail just before the drama could take a twist.


Missing in the action: Former CM B S Yediyurappa appears before the
Special Lokayukta Court yesterday, while his predecessor and archrival
H D Kumaraswamy (inset) did not show for hearing. Pic/ Satish Badige


Meanwhile, former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa kept his date with the Lokayukta court yesterday for hearing on cases of land de-notification. Kumaraswamy, who had missed dates with the court on two earlier occasions, had to appear before the Lokayukta court in an illegal mining case yesterday, but failed to show up. His legislator wife Anitha Kumaraswamy, who is accused in a separate land scam case, was also supposed to attend the same court.

While Kumaraswamy's petition seeking to quash legal proceedings against him is pending in the HC, hearing on his anticipatory bail petition went ahead yesterday. When the Lokayukta took up Kumaraswamy's case at 11 am, his counsels appealed to the court to call the case at 12, reasoning that senior counsel Azmath Pasha was in the HC for hearing on the anticipatory bail petition.

Judge K N Sudindra Rao obliged and postponed the hearing to 12 noon, while asking the counsel to clarify whether they were seeking exemption for Kumaraswamy, or was it about his appearance.

Time game
When the court called the case at 12, Kumaraswamy's counsels applied for exemption on health grounds and the drama again took a curious turn at this point. The lawyer's appearing for the complainants against Kumaraswamy argued that the accused was lying and even produced a CD showing the former CM's lawyers saying that 'health grounds' was simply an excuse to get exemption for him being absent last time. Taking serious note of it, the court asked Kumaraswamy's lawyers to file an affidavit explaining the same and they had file the exemption within 1.45 pm.

The judge warned of issuing arrest warrant against their client, if they failed to explain his absence and their statement regarding the false health grounds they produced before the court. It was tense atmosphere with possibility of Lokayukta issuing arrest warrant, but by then the HC issued anticipatory bail for a day, while posting the orders for today. When the Lokayukta court called the case at 1.5 pm, Kumaraswamy's lawyers produced the anticipatory bail order, and the court adjourned the case for September 9.

More drama today?
"The High Court will pass the orders on the anticipatory bail on Thursday. If bail is granted, Kumaraswamy can appear before the Lokayukta court without fear of arrest. Also, the trial will continue in court, while the HC will continue to hear on his petition, seeking quashing the legal proceedings," said a lawyer appearing for him.
Kumaraswamy rubbished the charges that he had lied before the court on his health condition. "Everyone knows that I am a healthy patient. I can produce the medical certificates, so how can they say I am lying?" he said.

Meanwhile, former CM B S Yeddyurappa, accused in cases of land de-notification, appeared before the Lokayukta court yesterday. His lawyers argued that the case was to be given to the prosecution, as private parties were the petitioners and they have already applied for bail. The court posted the case for September 13, and it is expected to hear on the objections for the bail petition and the arguments on whether the case should be given to the prosecution or not.

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