Engaged in a no-holds bar battle with the state government, Karnataka governor HR Bhardwaj in his report to the Centre has pointed out that chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s family allegedly made profits of more than R 200 crore from his land deals.
Bhardwaj’s decision to grant sanction to prosecute the CM on complaints from two lawyers has turned into a full blown political battle between the Congress and BJP, and led to the governor sending a detailed report to the Centre.
The governor has mentioned land denotification orders issued by Yeddyurappa in five places in and around the state capital Bangalore to allegedly benefit his family and preferential allotment of government land in Mysore and Shimoga, as the main acts of irregularity.
He has taken note of 15 transactions mentioned in the voluminous complaints running into more than a 1,000 pages and calculations in the complaint have been made on the basis of existing land prices. These have allegedly cost the state around R500 crore and benefited Yeddyurappa’s family by R200 crore.
“I have also obtained the official records from the state government….Where government records were not available, the petitioners were asked to produce official documents obtained using the RTI Act,” Bhardwaj stated.
The former union law minister has extensively quoted from three judgments of the Supreme Court to support his decision.
Answering the question of whether it was mandatory for him to follow the advice of the state cabinet, Bhardwaj wrote: “This has been conclusively settled by the Supreme Court in 1982 in the AR Antulay case that sanction to prosecute the chief minister is the exclusive function of the governor to be exercised by him in his discretion.”
The governor has also referred to the prosecution sanction given against former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha by the then governor Dr Channa Reddy in 1995.
On the issue of whether sanction can be given without any formal investigation, Bhardwaj wrote :“Again in the Antulay case the Supreme Court once again categorically laid down that a private complaint is maintainable without investigation by the authorised agencies.”
Congress to step up attack
Stepping up its campaign against the BJP government in Karnataka, the Congress on Monday said it would stage a rally in the city on January 30 demanding resignation of the Yeddyurappa ministry over corruption charges.
Congress workers of nine districts would participate in the rally, which would also be held later in Mysore, Gulbarga and Belgaum revenue sub-divisions, KPCC President G Parameshwara said. Rallying in support of governor H R Bhardwaj, he rejected BJP allegations that the Congress was behind the decision to prosecute Yeddyurappa and asserted "it was given on a complaint by two advocates".