Governor H.R. Bhardwaj late Friday allowed filing of criminal
cases against Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa over corruption
Yeddyurappa termed the decision as "broad daylight murder of
democracy and justice" and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
called for a Karnataka 'bandh' (shutdown) Saturday to protest the
The permission to launch criminal proceedings against BJP's first
chief minister in south India was sought by two Bangalore-based
advocates, Sirajin Basha and K.N. Balaraj, on Dec 28 following
revelation that Yeddyurappa had favoured his kin with prime land
in and around Bangalore.
Bhardwaj noted that Basha 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
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.
Though the two advocates had sought permission to prosecute Home
Minister R. Ashoka also, the Raj Bhavan release was silent on it.
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.
Basha told IANS that a criminal case will be filed against
Yeddyurappa in a Bangalore court Monday.
"We are grateful to the governor for granting us permission to
prosecute the chief minister. We are in touch with our counsel to
draft the petition to file the criminal case in the 23rd special
court Monday," Basha said.
Bhardwaj's decision was hailed by opposition Congress and Janata
Dal-Secular parties while BJP senior leader Arun Jaitley condemned
Yeddyurappa, who took office in May 2008 and has been battling
charges of nepotism in land allotment since November last year,
termed Bhardwaj's action as "highly politically motivated and
"The governor is carrying his political agenda with his office…
has acted in an arbitrary and partisan manner giving a go by to
principles of natural justice."
The BJP state unit met soon after Bhardwaj made known his decision
and decided to organize Karnataka shutdown, party spokesperson S.
The party had earlier Friday announced that its central leaders
and parliament members from the state would meet President
Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on Jan 24 and also organize rallies
across the state demanding Bhardwaj's recall.
The spokesperson said the party would decide whether to continue
with this plan or not Saturday. "Right now we are busy with
tomorrow's bandh," he said.
JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda hailed
Bhardwaj's decision and said Yeddyurappa should resign forthwith.
State Congress spokesperson also welcomed the governor's decision
and said Yeddyurappa should quit at least now.
Yeddyurappa said in his statement: "It is unfortunate that the
governor has taken the decision to accord sanction for
prosecution, even before any preliminary enquiry or any
opportunity to me in this case on a private individuals
He accused Bhardwaj of acting in a biased manner. "From the
beginning the governor has been behaving in a biased manner as an
agent of Congress and JDS," Yeddyurappa asserted.
"This is nothing but broad day light murder of democracy and
justice," he said adding "what the opposition parties could not
achieve directly through the mandate of the people has been
achieved by them through the office of the Governor and Raj Bhavan."
"I leave it to the people to decide what is right and what is
wrong….There is no instance in judicial history of any arbitrary
decision like this without recourse to an enquiry... I have full
faith in the judicial system of this country and I will come out
clean," Yeddyurappa said.