HC extends stay on Jus. Padmaraj Comission probing land scams

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Bangalore,Feb11(PTI) The Karnataka High Court today extendedtill March 18 its stay on the Justice Padmaraj Commission setup to probe alleged land scams in the state since 1995.

A Division bench, comprising Chief Justice J S Kheharand A S Bopanna, extended the stay on the petition filed byJDS spokesperson YSV Dutta praying that anti-corruptionwatchdog Lokayukta continue its probe into the scams.

The court last month had granted a four-week stay that wasto lapse on February 18.

The court also directed the Commission not to accept anycomplaints on land scams.

Earlier senior Counsel for Dutta submitted that since theLokayukta probe was already on, the Commission had nojurisdiction to go into the complaint lodged before theanti-corruption watchdog.Therefore the constitution of theCommission was "ultra vires" the Lokayukta Act.

The counsel, Ravivarma Kumar, further submitted thatCommission was also "malafide as the accused cannot choose hisown judge and cannot choose his own panel of enquiry".

Dutta in his petition had charged Chief Minister B SYeddyurappa of being involved in the illegal land deals andstated that a Government-appointed Commission of Enquiry"would not be impartial".

Counsel appearing for the Padmaraj Commission, P SRajagopal on the other hand sought that the stay be lifted andthe Commission permitted to continue the probe.

He also sought permission to extend the date for receivingthe responses (which was January 31, 2011) by the Commissionwhich was rejected by the court.

Government Advocate sumbitted that Dutta did not havepowers to "intervene in the functioning of the government" andthat the stay should be lifted.

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