5 April 2023 7:57 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has refused to quash an alleged case of disproportionate assets against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Leader M P Renukacharya. Justice K Natarajan, while dismissing the petition filed by the legislator, said the petition is devoid of merits and liable to be dismissed.On the private complaint filed by one Gurupadaiah, the police earlier registered FIR on 30.11.2015,...
The Karnataka High Court has refused to quash an alleged case of disproportionate assets against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Leader M P Renukacharya.
Justice K Natarajan, while dismissing the petition filed by the legislator, said the petition is devoid of merits and liable to be dismissed.
On the private complaint filed by one Gurupadaiah, the police earlier registered FIR on 30.11.2015, wherein it was alleged Renukacharya 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.
Further it was claimed that in the year 2004 when he had filed nomination paper for contesting the MLA election at Honnalli, he declared his assets at Rs.26,07,319 and thereafter in the year 2008 election he declared his assets as Rs.73,97,828 and in the year 2013, he declared assets of Rs.4,95,32,608.
“There was rise 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 complaint said.
Based upon the private complaint, the matter was referred to Lokayukta police under section 156 (3) of Cr.P.C. In turn the police investigated the matter and submitted the report and an FIR was registered against the petitioner.
The prosecution was challenged by the petitioners before the High court which vide its order dated 04.09.2015, allowed the petition and quashed the FIR and consequential proceedings and liberty was reserved for complainant to pursue his complaint in accordance with procedure laid down by Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Priyanaka Srivastava and Anr. Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and other.
Subsequently, the complainant again approached the Superintendent Police of Lokayuktha and filed the complaint and the same was registered by the Lokayuktha police under section 13 (1)(d) and (e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 120B and 420 of IPC.
The petitioners primarily contended that when the High Court set aside the FIR, the question of filing complaint to Lokayukta Police did not arise as the High Court had set aside the FIR for non following the guidelines of Priyanaka Srivastava.
The prosecution opposed the plea saying the previous complaint was quashed by the High Court on the ground for not following the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Priyanaka Srivastav's case as he did not approach the police and higher official of police under section 154 (1) & 154 (3) of Cr.P.C.
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.”
The bench also said contention of the counsel for the petitioner that the FIR is based upon the same cause of action and multiple FIRs cannot be accepted as there is no multiple FIR in this case, since the earlier FIR has been quashed by the co-ordinate bench.
“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.
Case Title: M P Renukacharya And State of Karnataka
Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION NO.2098 OF 2017
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 140
Date of Order: 28-03-2023
Appearance: Advocate Hareesh Bhandary T for petitioner.
Advocate B.S. Prasad for R1.
Advocate J.D. Kashinath for R2.
Click Here To Read/Download Order