Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Friday rejected former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa's petition, seeking quashing of FIR by Lokayukta police on a private complaint alleging financial irregularities in Upper Bhadra irrigation project.

The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices KL Manjunath and HS Kempanna.

The complaint was filed by JD-S spokesperson YSV Dutta in the Lokayukta court, which later ordered a probe on August 8. Subsequently an FIR was filed by Lokyukta police on Aug 10.

Yeddyurappa's counsel and Supreme Court lawyer UU Lalit had challenged the complaint and order of reference by Special Lokayukta judge NK Sudhindhra Rao under Sec 156(3) of CrPC (initiating criminal proceedings), stating that Rao is not a magistrate and hence has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint, making a reference under the Section.

"It has to be taken cognizance and referred to under Sec 202 of CrPC which is nothing but collection of evidence," he had submitted.

Counsel had argued that the lower court had superseded its jurisdiction and hence the FIR filed as a consequence by Lokayukta police would have to be dropped.

However, the High Court ruled that they found no merit in this argument, saying while the court of the special judge has power to receive a private complaint and take cognizance, it also has power to refer it for investigation to Lokayukta police under Sec 156(3) of the CrPC.

It noted that the special judge enjoys all powers of criminal jurisdiction, except any specifically denied.

(Agencies)