Chidambaram says BJP's Karnataka shutdown call is unacceptable

Bangalore, Jan 22 (ANI): Slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its shutdown call in Karnataka to protest against Governor HR Bhardwaj's sanction for prosecution of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said it is not correct and is totally unacceptable.

In a statement issued here, Chidambaram said: "It is not the first time that a Governor has given his sanction to prosecute a Chief Minister. This is not correct and is totally unacceptable."

Chidambaram further said that the law in respect of a Governor giving sanction to prosecute a Chief Minister or a Minister is clear and well-settled.

Taking a dig at BJP, Chidambaram said he was glad to note that the party no longer says that "the alleged transgressions of law in Karnataka are only immoral and not illegal."

"Surely, the BJP knows the legal position. The BJP also knows that any person aggrieved by the order of the Governor can seek legal remedies. Hence, it is my sincere hope that the BJP will advise its state unit to abide by the law and will advise the Government of Karnataka to discharge its constitutional obligation to maintain law and order," he said.

He said the Centre has taken note of the developments in Karnataka and he was not going into the merits of the complaints that were before the Governor of Karnataka in respect of which he has granted sanction for prosecution.

"The purpose of this statement is to set out the constitutional and legal position," he said.

Chidambaram said the leading case in this behalf is M.P. Special Police Establishment Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh. That was a case in which the then Governor of Madhya Pradesh Bhai Mahavir overruled the advice of the Cabinet and granted sanction to prosecute two ministers. A 5-Judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the order of the Governor.

The Home Minister said he would draw the BJP's attention to the statement made by Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde, Lokayukta of Karnataka, who has observed that the Governor had the jurisdiction to sanction prosecution. (ANI)

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