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A complaint was filed against the Karnataka CM after he allegedly appealed in during an election campaign that the Veerashaiva Lingayat community members' votes must be consolidated.
The Karnataka High Court recently stayed the proceedings against Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yeddyurappa by a district court at Gokak in a complaint alleging violation of the Election Code of Conduct.
While doing so, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj reserved its order in the plea as well.
Yeddyurappa had moved the High Court seeking to quash a complaint dated November 26, 2019, registered against him for offences under Section 123 (3) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 and under Section 171 (F) of the Indian Penal Code. Further, the plea also sought to quash the order dated June 26, issuing summons to him.
The complaint against the CM was that while campaigning for BJP candidate Ramesh Jarkiholi, he had appealed in his speech that the Veerashaiva Lingayat community members' votes must be consolidated and should not disperse here and there. As per the complainant, this act violated the Election Code of Conduct.
Subsequently, on the basis of the complaint, the police went on to register the same as a non-cognizable offence and made a requisition before the trial court seeking permission to investigate into the alleged offences.
Pursuant to this, police registered the FIR and after completion of investigation, it submitted the Final "B" Report before the trial court on June 25.
The petition states that the trialcCourt, in turn, rejected the said report and on June 26, took cognizance and issued summons to the Chief Minister.
In this regard, the petition states,
"The registration of FIR amounts to gross violation of the Rule of Law much less in gross violation to Section 155 of Cr.P.C. Further, the Trial Court ought to have applied its mind at the time of taking cognizance by giving reasons for summoning the petitioner. In the absence of such mandatory compliance the proceedings before the Trial Court become unsustainable and in absence of there being a set of facts so as to constitute the commission of the offences, the lodging of the complaint and continuation of the criminal proceeding pursuant thereto, would amount to gross abuse of process of Court and of law."
The petition further contends that when the offence is non-cognizable in nature, it is mandatory for the police to seek permission of the Magistrate prior to commencement of the investigation.
This mandatory requirement has not been complied with in the present case, and therefore, the registration of the FIR requires to be set aside.
The plea further contends that after a bare reading of the complaint and the entire final B Report, it is clear that the allegations made therein are based on presumptions and no evidence whatsoever is produced to implicate Yeddyurappa in the said offences.
"The entire complaint is concocted and does not instill any credibility and as such is liable to be quashed", urges the plea.
The petition was filed through Advocate Swamini Ganesh. Senior Advocate CV Nagesh argued for Yeddyurappa.
[Read plea and order here]