Karnataka HC grants anticipatory bail to Ex-Chief Minister in a criminal case

Karnataka High Court: The High Court granted anticipatory bail to the Ex-Chief Minister of Karnataka, Sri H.D. Kumaraswamy (petitioner) in a criminal case registered for offences punishable under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 409, 201 read with Section 120 (B) of IPC, etc.

The petitioner was arrayed as the third respondent in the F.I.R. registered in connection to the above mentioned offences. The case related to the concocting of documents/permits as if issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, GOI to lift the iron ore mined between 1965 to 1985. The allegation against the petitioner was that he pressurized the second accused to issue permission to shift the said mineral, knowing fully well that no forest clearance certificate was taken by the first accused.

Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the same allegations were subject-matter of another criminal case in which he was already granted bail. While the Special Public Prosecutor submitted that during the relevant period, the petitioner was the Minister for Industries and Commerce under which the Department of Mines and Geology was functioning, thus he was directly involved in the subsequent offence.

The Court perused the submissions and the case diary and found that the alleged incident was ten years old; the financial transaction that took place was all available in the records, the subject matter of the present case was same as that of the case referred to above. The petitioner apprehended that if for any reason he is arrested, that will mar his further career. He also undertook to co-operate with the investigating officer.

In light of the above, the Court held that, there was no impediment to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail subject to the conditions imposed. [Sri. H.D. Kumaraswamy v. State of Karnataka, 2017 SCC OnLine Kar 1806, dated August 10, 2017]

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