While the JD(S) claimed that the audio clip was evidence that BJP was trying to poach ruling alliance's MLAs, BS Yeddyurappa said the voice was his, but the words had been manipulated; the case went to the Karnataka high court, which has now reserved the verdict
Kalaburagi: The Karnataka high court on Thursday reserved the verdict on the petition filed by state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa and three others seeking the quashing of the FIR filed against them on bribery charges.
Justice PGM Patil reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides.
Senior counsel CV Nagesh argued on behalf of Yeddyurappa (BSY) claiming that the case did not fall under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The counsel argued that BSY didn't utter a word about offering bribe and only stated that the election expenses would be borne for which Rs 10 crore advance will be paid. This offer too was made only if the JD(S) MLA joined the BJP but he wasn't the elected representative.
The counsel also argued that money given for election expenses in advance would not amount to bribe and hence the case could not come under Prevention of Corruption Act and should be quashed.
Ashok Harnalli, counsel for Shivanagouda Naik, Preetham Gowda and MB Maramkal argued that there was no truth in the allegations made against them.
However, advocate general Sandesh Chouta argued that even luring a people's representative with money and appealing for his resignation is a crime. Chouta requested further police investigation.
BSY, Shivanagouda, Hassan MLA Preetham and prominent journalist Maramkal were booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act following a complaint by Gurmitkal MLA Naganagouda's son Sharanagouda.
In the FIR, Sharanagouda alleged that the BJP state president and the other three tried to lure his father through him with crores of rupees and a ministerial post to switch over to the BJP.
In connection with this, Sharanagouda had submitted an audio clip that was 80 minutes long to the police. The clip was an alleged recording of the conversation between him and Yeddyurappa where the BJP leader tried wooing him. The FIR was filed on the basis of this clip.
The audio clip was released just ahead of announcing the state Budget by Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. Yeddyurappa maintained that the audio clip had been doctored to favour the chief minister.
Kumaraswamy had constituted an SIT probe into the audio clip but the BJP demanded the speaker to either order a judicial inquiry or a House committee probe into the bribery charges.
Read Exclusive COVID-19 Coronavirus News updates, at MyNation.
Last Updated 21, Feb 2019, 4:37 PM