Supreme Court orders CBI probe against Yeddyurappa
In a setback to former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Supreme Court Friday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate his alleged role in mining scam
CBI will probe the allegations that the Prerna Trust managed by members of his immediate family received a huge donation from the mining company favoured by him.
Pronouncing the verdict, Justice Swatanter Kumar said that upon completing the investigation the CBI will complete its investigation and place its report before the competent court by August 3 and that all agencies of the state will extend their cooperation to the investigating agency.
The apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC), which investigated the allegation of quid pro quo, had recommended the CBI probe. It had alleged irregularities in the grant of mining leases and that donations were made to the Prerana trust by the mining companies so favoured.
The Supreme Court last week on the recommendation of a green panel sought a CBI probe into donations by the mining firms to an NGO owned by relatives of Yeddyurappa.
The apex court's forest bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Swatanter Kumar had given time till Saturday evening to Yeddyurappa's senior counsel V. Giri to submit documents on court proceedings in cases recommended by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on environmental matters for a CBI probe.
The court had sought the documents after Giri said that all the aspects on which the CEC recommended a CBI probe were already under investigation on the direction of a special judge. He said the CEC recommendation should not be acted upon.
The court said if it had documents pointing to a strong prima facie case for investigation, it could not shut its eyes to these.
The documents before it clearly pointed to the violation of the Karnataka land acquisition act, the court said.
Giri said the CEC recommendation in respect of Yeddyurappa was similar to the one made earlier demanding a probe by the former Karnataka Lokayukta.
The plea seeking a Lokayukta probe was quashed by the Karnataka High Court. The same issue could not be resurrected by another agency for investigation by the CBI, Giri said.
The court was told that the country worked under a federal system and law and order was a state subject. The court could step in only if the state abdicated its responsibility.
Reiterating the earlier observation made by Chief Justice Kapadia, Justice Alam told Giri: "Don't invite us to make adverse comments." He asked Giri: "Has the high court said that this matter can't be investigated at all by any investigating agency?"
Justice Swatanter Kumar had said that all the issues raised in the CEC report were interlinked and had to be investigated.
Chief Justice Kapadia had said: "If documents come before us, then under the law, we are obliged to hear the accused. (If we afford him a hearing) we would be setting a precedent that would be against the law and dangerous."