Karnataka High Court Refuses To Quash FIR In Disproportionate Assets Case Against BJP MLA Renukacharya
The Karnataka High Court has refused to quash an alleged case of disproportionate assets against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Leader M P Renukacharya. This was in the case of M P Renukacharya v. State of Karnataka(CRIMINAL PETITION NO.2098 OF 2017) and was presided over by a single bench of Justice K Natarajan.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
This petition is filed by the petitioner/accused under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. for quashing the criminal proceedings in FIR in Crime No.6/2015 registered by the Davangere Lokayukta police for the offence punishable under Sections 13 (1)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Sections 120B and 420 of IPC pending on the file of Principal District and Sessions Judge, Davangere. The case of the prosecution is that on the complaint filed by respondent no.2 one Gurupadaiah the police have registered FIR on 30.11.2015 in crime No.6/2015 and it was alleged that the respondent No.2 claiming himself to be president of Brashtachara Virodi Vedike filed a private complaint under Section 200 of Cr.P.C before the special Court for Lokayukta on 28.4.2015 alleging that the petitioner had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known source of income while he was a Member of Legislature Assembly during 2004 to 2008, again from 2008 to 2013 and also from 25.12.2009 to 23.12.2013 when he was Cabinet Minister of Government of Karnataka. In the year 2004 when he had filed nomination paper for contesting the MLA election at Honnalli, he has declared his assets at Rs.26,07,319/-and thereafter in the year 2008 election he had declared his 4 assets as Rs.73,97,828 and in the year 2013 he has declared assets as Rs.4,95,32,608/-. It was alleged that there was raise of income and assets during his tenure as Minister in the State Government of Karnataka, he along with his brother has established Educational Institution by name Bapuji Educational Institution at Shimoga and the brothers had also amassed huge wealth when the petitioner was MLA and there after became the Minister. The petitioner by using office and by abusing his official position accumulated huge movable and immobile properties, which is disproportionate to his income. Based upon the private complaint, the same was referred to Lokayukta police under section 156 (3) of Cr.P.C, in turn the police investigated the matter and submitted the report. The police in Crime No.5/2015 against the petitioner and his brothers for the offence punishable under Sections 13 (1)(d) and (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 120B and 420 of IPC. It is further alleged that the petitioner and his brother have challenged FIR in Crime No.5/2015 by filing 5 Crl.P.No.3431/2015 before the High Court.
On going through the record the bench said: “Once the case filed under section 154(1) of Cr.P.C has been complied by the complainant and the police also registered the FIR. The question of the complainant going to the Superintendent of Lokayukta under section 154(3) of Cr.P.C does not arise. Moreover when the Lokayukta already received the complaint and registered the FIR, the question of going back to Sessions Judge for filing the complaint under Section 200 of Cr.P.C and referring the complaint under section 156(3) of Cr.P.C does not arise.”
However, if at all the complaint in PCR is pending before the Sessions Judge, it is no use as the complainant can withdraw the same on the ground of becoming infructuous as the police have already registered FIR and are investigating the matter,” it added.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY PRATIKSHYA P. BEURA