Karnataka High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to accused BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa in connection with the bribe for tender scam in which he is named as the prime accused.
The single bench division court headed by Justice K. Natarajan after granting interim anticipatory bail, directed the accused MLA to appear before the investigation officer within 48 hours of the order.
Accused MLA has to give Rs 5 lakh bond and two sureties before the court. The bail will be granted to the accused MLA, until the Lokayukta police submit their reports and documents against him, the court said.
The matter has been adjourned for next hearing to March 17.
Senior counsel K. Suman submitted before the court that the allegations against the accused MLA are political conspiracy. It was also submitted that the MLA is 75-year-old and has a heart problem.
The bench questioned about documents to prove his heart ailment and it also observed that these details are not mentioned in the bail petition. The bench also remarked that the police have not arrested him all these days, will they be able to arrest him in two days?
The FIR by the Lokayukta does not have any charges which have been proved. There is no evidence to prove demand and supply criterion which is considered under the Prevention of Corruption Act, the counsel stated.
The counsel also claimed that the tender process for the alleged procurement of mentioned raw materials is done and work order is also issued. So, there is no question of receiving a bribe towards the tender, the counsel stated.
Moreover, the tender committee does not have the chairman in the committee and the MD has to take a call, the counsel argued.
The bench asked the prosecution to produce any evidence against the accused. The prosecution sought time for the same and the bench granted interim anticipatory bail.
The supporters of accused MLA Madal Virupakshappa celebrated in Channagiri town after the bail order.
BJP MLA from Channagiri constituency was absconding and Lokayukta special teams had launched a hunt for him. His son Prashath Madal was caught red-handed while receiving Rs 40 lakh bribe towards allotment of procurement of raw materials to the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL), a public sector unit.
Accused MLA was the chairman of the KSDL and his son was allegedly receiving bribes on behalf of his father. The authorities had seized Rs 8.12 crore, 1.6 kilograms of gold from the residences of accused BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa and his son Prashanth Mada, who was arrested.