SC to hear plea of Siddaramaiah against HC’s refusal to quash FIR against him

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s petition against the high court order dismissing his plea to quash an FIR lodged against him and others in 2022 in relation to a protest march.

A bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra is likely to hear the plea of the Congress leader.

He has challenged the February 6 order of the high court that imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him as well as Congress general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala, state ministers M B Patil and Ramalinga Reddy, and directed him to appear before a special court on March 6.

The plea of Siddaramaiah has been filed by advocate Rajesh Gulab Inamdar.

The case was registered against the Congress leaders after they took out a march to lay siege to the then chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s residence in Bengaluru, demanding the resignation of K S Eshwarappa, who was the rural development and panchayat raj minister in the southern state at the time.

The agitation was staged after a contractor, Santosh Patil, died by suicide accusing Eshwarappa of demanding 40 per cent commission on a public work in his village.

According to police, the case pertained to blocking roads and causing inconvenience to commuters.

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Stating that none of the “quintessential” ingredients of the offences alleged was made out, Siddaramaiah has said in his plea that the proceedings are an abuse of the process of law and will lead to undue harassment.

“The incident complained lasted for almost an hour and no violent action or use of criminal force has been alleged against any of the members of the procession, it is thus submitted that the prosecution cannot be allowed to continue on such frivolous incidents where no allegation of criminality has been attributed to any of the members of the assembly,” the plea says.

In his plea before the top court, Siddaramaiah has said there is no allegation that the protest led to any violence or use of criminal force to pose an imminent threat to the public at large or to anyone, including the minister.

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