Hearing of complaints against CM, others adjourned to Feb 26

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Bangalore, Feb 14 (PTI) Amid pandemonium, a localcourt today adjourned to February 26 hearing of complaintsfiled against Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa andsome of his family members including his son-in-law, overallegations of corruption.

Additional Civil and Sessions Judge and Special JudgeC B Hipparagi adjourned the hearing for orders on the issue ofwhether the accused has the right of audience before thesummons are issued by the court.

When proceedings began, counsel for Sohan Kumar(Chief Minister''s son-in-law), filed a memo objecting tosenior counsel Anup Chowdary assisting advocate on record C HHanumantharaya appearing on behalf of the complainants.

Counsel Sandeep Patil submitted that sinceHanumantharaya was already appearing in the case as theSpecial Public Prosecutor, he cannot sub-delegate his work toanother senior advocate.

Chowdary argued that there is no public prosecutor inthis case as it is a private complaint filed by city-basedadvocates which has been accorded sanction by the governor.

"Is it necessary for the government to appoint apublic prosecutor in private complaint? You (judge) have tosee this first. Can a private complaint become a state case?It is ridiculous," Chowdary said.

He submitted that the high court order quoted by thedefence counsel in the Katta Jagadish vs Lokayukta case "doesnot apply here because it is a private complaint".

Quoting Supreme Court judgments extensively, Chowdarysaid "such an objection was a mockery of law and travestyof justice". As per an apex court judgment, he said, till thesummons of process are issued against the accused, he does nothave right of audience and cannot take part in proceedings.

"When he (accused) cannot be even heard and has theright only to observe the proceedings, how can he file a memo.

The accused at this pre-process stage has no locus standi."

He submitted that a private complainant had everyright to engage a lawyer of his choice and "there is no lawwhich prohibits engaging a private counsel in case of aprivate complaint".

Chowdary pleaded with the court to "send the rightmessage to the people of equal and fair treatment. And forthis it is necessary that the court must give orders forrecording of evidence under section 200 of the CrPC".

Senior counsel Ravi B Naik appearing on behalf ofChief Minister argued that he had every right to be heard ashe "was just an applicant before the court not an accused atthis stage".

His remark "I know how faithful the governor was (inaccording the sanction", sparked off a wordy duel betweenhim and Chowdary who described him as an "intruder and aninterloper".

Amid noisy scenes, Chowdary appealed to the court toadjourn the case for further orders.

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