Karnataka BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa whose son Prashant Madal was recently caught taking a bribe of Rs 40 lakh, has been arrested after the High Court of Karnataka on Monday dismissed his bail application in the bribery case.
A viral video showed the Lokayukta sleuths intercepting the MLA at the Kyathasandra Toll Gate in Tumakuru when was heading for Bengaluru. Sources said Virupakshappa alighted from his car, after which the Lokayukta police took him with them in their vehicle. "We arrested him in Tumakuru when he (the MLA) was on the way to Bengaluru," Lokayukta Inspector General of Police A Subramanyeshwara Rao told PTI.
Alleging "conspiracy" against him and his family, the MLA had earlier resigned as the chairman of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL).
#BREAKING#BJP MLA Madala Virupaksha has been arrested by #Karnataka police. Lokayukta had moved court to cancel his bail alleging he has not been co-operating in the investigation. Court had cancelled his bail application. pic.twitter.com/2HKZcEskmZ— Imran Khan (@KeypadGuerilla) March 27, 2023
What is the bribery case?
The case pertains to the alleged demand and receipt of bribes for allotting contract for supplying chemicals to the state-run company. Subsequent raids by the Lokayukta unearthed cash to the tune of Rs 8.23 crore.
Virupakshappa, who was the chairman of KSDL, has been charged with demanding bribe through his son Prashanth Madal, a KAS officer.
A demand for Rs 81 lakh bribe to pass a bill was made and his son was caught in his office while accepting Rs 40 lakh out of it. Later, over Rs. 7 crore in cash was seized from Virupakshappa’s residence.
Prashanth M V has already been arrested in the case on March 2. Four more arrests have been made by the Lokayukta police in the case since then.
Virupakshappa Madal is the prime accused in the case. The high court had earlier granted interim anticipatory bail to Virupakshappa on a Rs 5 lakh personal bond which helped him escape arrest.
"There were WhatsApp messages and telephone instructions given by this petitioner to one said Mahesh, the Managing Director of KSDL, which clearly reveals, that at the instance of this petitioner-accused No.1 and on behalf of the petitioner-accused No.1, accused No.2 (Prashanth Madal) almost acted on for tender process, procurement process and demand and acceptance of the alleged bribe amount, pertaining to KSDL," the Court pointed out.
The Court also noted the recovery of cash from the MLA and said his custodial interrogation was necessary. "The statement of the family members of petitioner-accused No.1 has been recorded by the investigation officer and the amount has been seized from the bedroom of this petitioner. The investigation officer was not able to collect the call records, WhatsApp messages from the mobile of the petitioner. Therefore, the matter requires detailed investigation and without the custodial interrogation, it is not possible for the police to collect the proper evidence against the petitioner."
In a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the MLA stated, "There is some conspiracy against my family. I'm submitting resignation under moral responsibility as there is an allegation against me."
Following the revelations, state Congress leaders including Siddaramaiah and Randeep Surjewala were protested outside Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai's residence, demanding his resignation.
(With inputs from PTI)