Bangalore : Scam-hit former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Monday appeared in a trial court along with his two sons, son-in-law and 11 others and moved application for bail in a graft case related to a land scam.
Amid high drama and tight security, a grim-faced Yeddyurappa, sons B.S. Vijayendra and B.S. Raghavendra and son-in-law R. Sohan Kumar were present in the court of Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao, who also functions as special Lokayukta (ombudsman) court for speedy trial of graft cases.
Yeddyurappa’s counsel Ravi B. Nayak petitioned the court for bail in the case related to denotification (freeing from government control) of lands in and around Bangalore during his tenure as the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister in south India for 38 months from May 30, 2008, to July 31, 2011.
Though Nayak also sought exemption from personal appearance by Yeddyurappa on health grounds, the judge declined and directed all the accused to appear in his court Sep 7 when their bail applications will be taken up for hearing.
The case was filed Jan 23 by advocates Sirajin Bhasha and N.K. Balaraj after state Governor H.R. Bhardwaj gave them permission Jan 21 to launch criminal proceedings against Yeddyurappa in the land scam.
In their complaints, the two city-based advocates accused Yeddyurappa, Vijayendra, Raghavendra and Sohan Kumar and 11 others of conspiring to denotify the lands in return for monetary benefits. Raghavendra is the ruling party’s Lok Sabha member from Shimoga, about 280 km from Bangalore.
Yeddyurapa resigned July 31 after former Lokayukta Justice (retd) N. Santosh Hegde recommended his trial for graft in the multi-crore mining scam in the state.
Before the case was adjourned, Nayak and counsel C.P. Nagesh for Vijayandra, Raghavendra and Kumar objected to complainants Bhasha and Balaraj being represented by another lawyer. Being advocates, they should have been present in the court and argued the case directly, counsel said.
The judge directed Bhasha and Balaraj to respond to the objection and also asked counsel representing the Lokayukta police and the state government to file their objections to the bail applications of all the 15 accused, including Yeddyurappa.
Earlier in the day, Justice L. Narayana Swamy of the Karnataka High Court rejected the anticipatory bail application of Yeddyurappa and directed him to comply with the trial court’s summons to appear before it.
The lower court, which took up the case at 11 a.m., adjourned it to 3 p.m. after Yeddyurappa’s counsel sought time for appearing in the court.
Emerging from the court, a beleaguered Yeddyurappa said he would honour the court proceedings and abide by the judge’s order.
“I respect the judiciary and will abide by the court order. I have moved an application for bail and exemption from personal appearance on health grounds. I will leave it to the judge to decide on my plea. I am confident of proving in the court of law that I have done no wrong in the case,” Yeddyurappa told reporters.
Though the summons was issued Aug 8 to appear in the court Aug 27, Yeddyurappa failed to turn up and sought exemption from personal appearance as he was suffering from fever.
Rejecting his plea, the trial court judge, Sudhindra Rao, directed Yeddyurappa to appear in the court Monday. The judge will take up their bail plea for hearing Sep 7.