Special court convicts Karnataka Minister Madhu Bangarappa in Cheque Bounce case

A court here has convicted Karnataka Minister for School Education and Literacy Madhu Bangarappa in a cheque bounce case. The special court for cases involving MPs/MLAs directed him to pay a fine amount of Rs 6.96 crore to the complainant, Rajesh Exports, and the remaining Rs.10,000 to be appropriated to the State.

In case of failure to pay the amount, the Minister has to undergo 6 months simple imprisonment.

S B Madhu Chandra (S Madhu Bangarappa), as the director of Akash Audio-Video Pvt Ltd was the second accused in the complaint while Akash Audio-Video was the main accused.

The XLII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Judge Preeth J of the special court in a recent judgement said, “Accused No.1 and 2 are convicted for the offence punishable under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act and sentenced to pay fine of Rs 6,96,70,000/- (Rupees Six Crore Ninety Six Lakh Seventy Thousand only), in default the Accused No.2 shall undergo Simple Imprisonment for a period of Six Months.”

The Court in its judgement also reprimanded the attitude of the Minister for dragging the case.

“Though the Accused is an MLA holding a responsible position in the Karnataka State Legislature, from the order sheet of XV ACMM Court, it goes to show that the Accused was not secured before the said court and it went up to issuing proclamation also. This goes to show that the Accused is trying to drag on the proceedings to its heights and the same is deprecated,” the judgement said.

According to the complainant, Akash Audio-Video had availed an inter-corporate deposit of Rs 6 crore from Rajesh Exports. A cheque was issued by Madhu Bangarappa for Rs.6.6 crores but it was dishonoured on November 27, 2011. Rajesh Exports then approached the court in 2012 seeking repayment of the cheque amount and compensation. The case was transferred to the special court in 2022.

Madhu Bangarappa had approached the HC to get the case quashed but his petition was dismissed in 2022 after he failed to make the full payment as per the undertaking given. A part payment of Rs 50 lakhs was made when the petition was before the High Court.

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He again filed an undertaking before the Special Court on December 26, 2023 of making the full payment of the remaining Rs 6.10 crore on or before January 30, 2024.

The Special Court, however, rejected this undertaking saying, “From the attending circumstances it appears that the Accused no.2 is in the habit of filing undertakings before the court but is not willing to comply with the same. At the cost of repetition it is to be stated that the Accused no.2 has not complied with the undertaking given before the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka.

On the other hand, he tried to drag the proceedings for almost one year after the criminal petition was dismissed by the Hon’ble High Court of Karnataka.”

The Special Court also ordered for a free copy of the judgement to be provided to the accused.

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