Karnataka HC quashes bribery case against former BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, son to face trial

The High Court of Karnataka has quashed the bribery case pending against former BJP MLA from Channagiri, Madal Virupakshappa.

The case was set in motion after his son, Prashanth Madal, a KAS officer, was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh allegedly on behalf of his father. Subsequently, more cash was found in his residence.

“Prima facie, it is the son who has to answer the allegations in a full-blown trial,” the single bench of high court said quashing the case against Virupakshappa on Wednesday.

Justice M Nagaprasanna in his judgement quashed the case pending before the special court for sitting and former legislators and said that there is no evidence against Virupakshappa, but his son has to answer for the cash found.

Allowing the petition filed by the then chairman of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL), the court said, “The son is prima facie guilty of demand, acceptance and is answerable to the cash found in his house or his office. If the petitioner (Madal Virupakshappa) is nowhere found in any of the instances, he cannot be permitted to be prosecuted merely because he is the father of the accused no 2 (Prashanth Madal).”

The complaint registered by the Lokayukta police on March 2, 2023, under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) does not constitute the ingredients of offences under Section 7 and 7A of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act, the court said.

Madal Virupakshappa, the number one accused in the case, was charged under Section 7(A) and 7(B) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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While Prashanth Madal is the second accused in the case. Siddesh, Nicholas and Gangadhar are the other accused.

The court said that in the entire episode there was no evidence of an offence committed by the senior Madal.

“Since no offence in even the remotest sense was found, permitting proceedings against the ex-MLA would become an abuse of the process of law, degenerate into harassment and ultimately result in miscarriage of justice.

“The son is prima facie guilty of demand, acceptance and is answerable to the cash found in his house or his office,” the court said for allowing the proceedings to continue against Prashanth.

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