The Karnataka High Court quashed a corruption case against a former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) observing that there is no prima facie material against him.

In that context, the Bench of Justice M Nagaprasanna observed that, "The son of the petitioner is no doubt prima facie guilty of demand, acceptance and is answerable to the cash that was found in his house or his office. If the petitioner is nowhere found in any of the instances, merely because he is the father of accused No.2 – the son, he cannot be permitted to be prosecuted."

In furtherance of the same, it was said that, "In the teeth of no offence being even found to the remotest sense qua the ingredients of the offence, permitting further proceedings would only become an abuse of the process of law, degenerate into harassment and ultimately result in miscarriage of justice."

Senior Counsel Prabhuling K Navadgi appeared for the petitioner, while Senior Counsel Ashok Haranahalli appeared for the respondents.

In this case, K. Madal Virupakshappa, a former Member of the Zilla Panchayath and the Legislative Assembly of Karnataka, faced allegations related to a bribery case involving his son. The complaint accused the petitioner's son of demanding and accepting bribes in connection with bills and tenders.

The petitioner, accused No.1, served as the Chairman of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL). The petitioner sought quashment of the case, arguing that he was unfairly implicated due to his position, and that prior approval under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act was necessary for registering a crime against a public servant.

The Lokayukta, representing the prosecution, countered that the investigation was in the early stages, and the petitioner's involvement was under scrutiny. The prosecution argued that this was a trap case, exempt from the requirement of prior approval under Section 17A of the Act.

The Court noted that there was no involvement of the petitioner as all the pointers of demand and acceptance were on the son. In that context, it was said that, "In the entire complaint there is no whisper of the fact that the petitioner had at any point in time demanded money or accepted it. The entire allegation is against accused No.2 who as per the narration in the complaint prima facie guilty of demand and acceptance of bribe. The name of the petitioner no where figures. There is no allegation of ingredients of Section 7(a) and (b) of the Act against the petitioner.

With that background, it was held that If there was not even a whisper of any demand or acceptance of a bribe by the petitioner, it was ununderstandable as to how the proceedings could be permitted to be continued against him.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed.

Cause Title: K Madal Virupakshappa vs State of Karnataka

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