The Karnataka High Court refused to quash proceedings against five accused who were charged with demanding a bribe to withdraw a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against the Ramachandrapura Mutt.

The Bench headed by Justice K. Natarajan held that “There is sufficient material placed on record including call details records (CDR), as the accused persons were continuously speaking to each other prior to the trap and apprehending accused Nos.1 and 2. Therefore, I hold, it is not a fit case for quashing the criminal proceedings at this stage.

Advocate Padmavathi N appeared for the Petitioners while HCGP S. Vishwa Murthy represented the Respondents.

Petitioner Nos. 1 to 5 were the Accused Nos. 3 to 7 before the ACMM Court, Bangalore. The Petitioners were charged under Sections 384,504,506,511 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The Respondent complained that the Petitioners demanded a sum of Rs. 5 Crores to withdraw a PIL filed against the Respondent.

A meeting was setup wherein Accused No. 1 and 2 were caught red handed taking a bribe of Rs. 10 Lakhs. The Petitioners stated that primary offense is made out for Accused No. 1 and 2 and no such offense is made out for Accused Nos. 3 to 7 who are Petitioners in this case.

The Court while examining the evidence said that “The Investigation Officer collected the call detail register (CDR) extracts which reveals all the accused persons were in touch with the accused Nos.1, 2 and 7 and it is not in dispute, both the associations have filed PIL case and in order to withdraw the said case.”

Further while refusing to quash the criminal proceedings, the Court held that “there is a prima facie material for framing of charges against the accused persons. Therefore, the proceedings cannot be quashed. “

Accordingly, the Petition was dismissed by the High Court.

Cause Title: Gopala Sadashiva Gayatri and Ors. v. State By Girinagara Police and Anr.
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