The Lokayukta police on Friday told the High Court of Karnataka that Madal Virupakshappa, BJP MLA, was not cooperating with the investigation and was giving evasive answers to questions during interrogation in the bribery case registered against him.
The MLA’s custodial interrogation was essential to elicit information from him as he was giving evasive answers, and was not even sharing mobile phone numbers, due to protection from arrest given to him by the court through granting of interim anticipatory bail, it was contended on behalf of the Lokayukta police.
Also, the Lokayukta police have said that even Prashanth Madal, one of the sons of the MLA, who was caught redhanded when receiving ₹40 lakh in cash from the complainant-businessman on March 2, was also not cooperating during the questioning as apparently his father has interim protection from the court from arrest.
These submissions were made before a Bench of Justice K. Natarajan during the hearing of the petition filed by Mr. Virupakshappa seeking anticipatory bail. The court on March 7 granted him interim anticipatory bail till the final adjudication of his petition.
However, the court asked the advocate representing the Lokayukta police what evidence had been gathered now against the MLA as the investigating officer, in his preliminary report, had said that the MLA was not arrested as there was “no evidence” against him at the time of the arrest of his son.
It was because of the remark of the investigating officer on not having any evidence, and absence of any material to prima facie show that the MLA, being the then chairperson of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd., had demanded payment of bribe from the complainant-businessman to be paid through his son, that the interim anticipatory bail was granted to him, Justice Natarajan pointed out.
For this, the advocate for the Lokayukta police said that the investigation was at a preliminary stage and some incriminating materials had now been collected against the MLA, and submitted the statement of the managing director of the KSDL, recorded before the trial court, and the Whatsapp messages between Mr. Prashanth and the KSDL’s MD, in a sealed cover.
Meanwhile, the MLA’s advocate pointed out to the court that the house, where Mr. Prashanth is staying in Bengaluru, belonged to a company and not the MLA, and two other sons of the MLA were directors of the company. The advocate also contended that the presence of around ₹6 crore in that house could not be claimed as a bribe amount as anyone, to whom the money belongs to, had the right to declare the source of money before income tax authorities as per law.
The High Court, after completion of arguments, reserved its verdict.
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