Govt asks Governor not to accord sanction to prosecute CM

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Bangalore, Jan 19 (PTI) In a move that could triggera fresh confrontation, the BJP Government in Karnataka todayasked Governor H R Bhardwaj to drop the proceedings initiatedon a petition seeking sanction to prosecute Chief Minister B SYeddyurappa and Home Minister R Ashoka in connection withalleged land scams.

An emergency Cabinet meeting chaired by Yeddyurappapassed a strongly worded unanimous resolution to this effect,a day after the Governor, who is often at odds with thegovernment, said he was considering the petition filed withhim by a lawers forum.

"Your Excellency''s action of consideration of therequest for sanction will not inspire confidence that thedecision would be judicious, fair and bonafide", theresolution stated.

Briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting, thesecond since yesterday, Law Minister Suresh Kumar said theresolution noted that "neither any investigating agency norany Commission of Inquiry has indicted the Chief Minister orthe Home Minister."

".. Hence your intended exercise of the power toprocess the request for sanction is wholly withoutjurisdiction", the resolution, which would be sent toBhardwaj, said.

The government, in an attack on Bhardwaj who has setJanuary 20 deadline for the government to submit him 93 filespertaining to alleged land scams, felt it was nothing short ofa "farce and a colourable" exercise on his part to evenconsider any sanction for prosecution.

The cabinet, however, did not debate the issue ofseeking recall of the Governor or even the future course ofaction to be pursued if he rejects its plea for dropping theproceedings on the Forum of Lawyers petition.

A forum of Lawyers last month petitioned the Governorseeking permission to prosecute Yeddyurpapa and Ashoka on thebasis of allegations of nepotism and irregularities indenotification of lands by the government.

Bhardwaj yesterday said he was considering thepetition, but had termed the issue as "ticklish". .

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