Supreme Court Issues Notice On Lokayukta's Plea Challenging Interim Bail Given To Karnataka BJP MLA
The Supreme Court has issued notice and has granted leave to appeal in the Criminal SLP filed against the interim anticipatory bail granted by the Karnataka High Court to the BJP'S MLA Madal Virupakshappa.
The Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia issued notice on the SLP filed by the state Lokayukta.
The MLA belonging to the ruling party was apprehending his arrest after the MLA's son was allegedly caught red-handed by the Lokayukta while taking huge amounts as a bribe. In the alleged cash-for-contract scandal, over ₹ 8 crores were recovered by Lokayukta from the MLA's son V Prashanth Madal. The MLA Virupakshappa's son was allegedly caught red-handed after a contractor filed a complaint with the Lokayukta.
Senior Advocate Basava Prabhu S. Patil appearing for the Lokayukta submitted that there was a complaint against them on the 2nd and acting upon the complaint a subsequent recovery was made from the room of the MLA. He apprised the Bench that, "he moved anticipatory bail, even without giving us the opportunity the bail application was decided the following day."
Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia upon hearing the submissions queried the Senior Advocate as to whom was he appearing for as the petitioner in the SLP was 'State Of Karnataka through Karnataka Lokayukta Police Rep. by its Superintendent Of Police Karnataka Lokayukta', which led to the confusion.
The Counsel responded that "the case name is so because it is through police, we are the Lokayukta's police wing... this is the police wing of Lokayukta working under the state".
The Counsel appearing for the respondents submitted that the case has become infructuous. The Bench then issued notice on the SLP.
The matter was mentioned on March 14 before the Bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul upon being granted liberty by the Chief Justice-led Bench. Senior Advocate Basava Prabhu S. Patil while mentioning the case said that it is a matter of surprise that the bail was granted in a day. The Senior Advocate submitted, "the bail matter was filed on the 6th of March while it was listed immediately on the 7th of March and the interim bail was granted".
Karnataka High Court had granted interim anticipatory bail to the leader. A Single Bench had granted interim protection to Virupakshappa on the condition of furnishing a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh. The FIR has been registered for offences under Sections 7(a) & (b), 7(A) 8, 9 & 10 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Subsequently, the Advocates Association of Bengaluru expressed serious concern at the early hearing granted to the leading party's MLA. The association expressed their anguish in the letter written to the Chief Justice of India stating that "The usual practice in the High Court of Karnataka is that new matters like anticipatory bail take several days and weeks for posting. However, VIP matters are entertained overnight".
Case Title: State Of Karnataka v. K. Madal Virupakshappa Diary No. 10537/2023