New Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday refused to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongman and former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa by the state High Court in a corruption case relating to a mining lease.
A bench of justices T S Thakur and Ibrahim Kalifulla dismissed the appeal filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the anticipatory bail granted by the high court.
”You want this man to be inside? What for?” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Mohan Parasaran appearing for the investigating agency.
The apex court brushed aside Parasaran's plea that Yeddyurappa's bail should be cancelled, as he was “not cooperating” with the CBI in the investigations.
”If he is not cooperating then go and seek cancellation of his bail,” the bench told the ASG.
The apex court also said that it cannot interfere lightly with the grant of anticipatory bail as the same can be done only on the gravity of the case and the possibility of the accused jumping the bail.
Parasaran submitted that the findings of the high court, while granting anticipatory bail to Yeddyurappa, were not correct as it prima facie gave an impression that the charges against him were baseless and that there was no linkage between the alleged fraudulent transactions relating to grant of lease and funds transferred to him and his family's account while he was the Chief Minister.
”Even if we will assume there is a linkage you go and investigate, prosecute him, file a charge sheet and submit an application for a recall of the bail,” the bench said.
However, the apex court said the investigating agency should not be influenced in its probe in any manner by the observations made by the state high court.
The Karnataka High Court on June 21 had granted conditional anticipatory bail to Yeddyurappa and three of his family members in an illegal mining case holding that the allegations in the CBI FIR are “not something new”.
Besides Yeddyurappa, his sons B Y Raghavendra and B Y Vijendra, and son-in-law R N Sohan Kumar secured relief after a CBI court had rejected their bail plea on June 13.
In its order, the high court had said the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) report on illegal mining on the basis of which the Supreme Court directed CBI to probe the matter was 'a carbon copy' of the first complaint on illegal land denotification case filed by advocate Sirajin Basha in which Yeddyurappa has already been granted bail.
The report of the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee had pointed out “undue favour” in respect of a land purchased by close relatives of Yeddyuruppa for 40 lakh in 2006 and subsequently sold to South West Mining Ltd, an alleged “front company of JSW Steels Ltd” in the year 2010 for Rs 20 crores.
The high court had also observed that there was no question of tampering with evidence and Yeddyurappa and the three others had cooperated with the CBI and appeared before it.
On May 11, the apex court had directed the CBI to conduct a probe against the former Karnataka Chief Minister for ”serious illegalities” in mining activities in which he allegedly “misused his public office” for monetary benefits by extending favours to mining barrons and corporates.