The Supreme Court on Wednesday protected Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and former industries minister of the state Murugesh Nirani from arrest in a criminal case. The top court was hearing a special leave petition filed by the two against a Karnataka High Court order that allowed restoration of the case against them.
Chief Justice SA Bobde said, "You are a sitting Chief Minister. Who will issue a warrant against you? At most, they can issue a request for you." However, the court did not stay the High Court order to restore the case. The duo were accused of not granting 26 acres of land as promised to a private investor in 2011.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Yediyurappa, said that the restoration of case could lead to issuance of an arrest warrant against the CM.
The Karnataka High Court had refused to quash an FIR filed against him in the illegal land denotification case. The court also imposed Rs 25,000 cost on the Chief Minister.
Earlier on December 23, the court had rejected his plea to quash criminal proceedings in another land denotification case. The case relates to the denotification of 1.11 acre land at Gangenahalli, which is part of the Matadahalli layout in RT Nagar in the city in which former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and others are also accused.
Based on a complaint by social activist Jayakumar Hiremath, the Lokayukta police had registered a case under section 420 of the IPC against the accused in 2015.