It is that season in democracy when every politician talks about “clean politics”, and paints oneself clean. But how does the voter know whether one is really clean? One yardstick is to look at the legal cases slapped against them.
The existence of a case on a person doesn’t mean he or she is tainted or guilty. Sometimes they drag for years. Sometimes cases are slapped for frivolous reasons, and sometimes they are slapped for political reasons. Some cases might get withdrawn, or get decided in favour of the candidate. However, there are serious cases too, which might result in conviction later on. In such cases the candidate becomes disqualified if the imprisonment is two or more years.
Thus, it is in the interest of the voter to know about the cases. Every candidate is required to declare the cases against them in the affidavit submitted to the Election Commission. Our analysis has been based on the affidavits uploaded on the Election Commission.
In Bengaluru, Indian National Congress (INC) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have equal number of candidates—eight each—who have declared cases against them. Seven cases belonging to Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S) have declared cases against them. Three candidates from Aam Aadmi Party have declared cases, and one independent candidate also has a case on him. No women feature in the list.
Common cases found among the affidavits are forgery, land grab, corruption, misuse of privilege, rioting, unlawful assembly, stopping a government official from discharging the duties and abuse of power.
In the summary below, we are looking at candidates from Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (Secular) (JD(S), contesting in Bengaluru. This is based on the self-declaration they have given in their affidavits.
Priya Krishna, Indian National Congress (INC), MLA, Govindarajanagar
There are two cases against Priya Krishna in which the court took cognizance. But no serious IPC sections are applicable.
According to his 2018 affidavit, a case of land grabbing under Section 5 of Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 2011, has been filed against him, but the proceedings were stayed in March 18 this year.
In 2012, the Lokayukta raided his house based on FIRs lodged by the Lokayukta police. Later they concluded that they found was actually less than what he declared.
Krishnappa, MLA, INC, Vijayanagar
Two cases are pending against Krishnappa in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bengaluru Rural District. One case charges him with IPC 418, 471, 193, 196, 199, 205 and 209 (forgery, cheating, giving false evidence in judicial proceedings) Another case was filed against him in 2016. Cognizance was taken by the court in April 2017. This is a private complaint filed by two persons for the same case. In this case IPC 467, 468, 471, 474, 193, 194, 196, 199, 205 and 209 (forgery, cheating, giving false evidence in judicial proceedings) are applicable.
He was accused of grabbing government land adjoining Byrasandra lake in Jayanagar ward. A case was filed with the Special court on land grabbing (prohibition), apart from a complaint lodged with the BMTF.
In 2017, a writ petition was filed before the High Court, but it was stayed. In the same year, a criminal revision Petition Number 82 was filed at the Principal District and Sessions Court (Bengaluru rural). The petition was stayed.
Roshan Baig, Minister, MLA, INC, Shivajinagar
Roshan Baig has a Lokayukta case pending against him. In his affidavit he says that the “Matter is already investigated and Jurisdiction Court had filed ‘B’ Report, however subsequently the complainant filed a protest memo against the B Report. Thereafter the complainant is seeking adjournment from time to time before jurisdiction Court.”
B.A. Basavaraja, MLA, INC, K.R. Puram
There is one case that has two years or above as punishment, which would lead to his disqualification if he is convicted. This case of forgery and cheating, unlawful assembly and criminal conspiracy (IPC 420, 463, 464, 465, 467, 468, 469, 470, 471, 120B) has been filed in front of Karnataka Land Grabbing Special Court. But the proceedings have been stayed by the High Court.
In July 2016, the Lokayukta registered a case against him and five others for “large-scale misuse of developmental funds”. Large payments of funds were made for development of roads that never took place. But the details of this case are not seen in the affidavit.
There is one more case pending against Basavaraj, which has been appealed against by him.
Munirathna Naidu, MLA, INC, Rajarajeshwarinagar
According to the 2018 affidavit, this Congress MLA has three criminal cases pending against him. One is under section 127 of Representation of Peoples Act (disturbances at election meetings). Another case is for cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery, falsification of accounts etc, under IPC 420, 406,409, 465,468,471, 477A and 120B, and section 23 of Karnataka Country and Town Planning act. This was filed recently in relation to the fake bill scam, after the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) named him as accused number 4. Munirathna defends himself by pointing out that in 2010, he was given a clean chit by the BBMP. He is gearing up to challenge the chargesheet.
Munirathna also has a serious IPC Section 304A count against him. He was indicted in two probes, including one by the Lokayukta, related to Causing Death by Negligence in 2010, when a minor had died due to a wall collapsing in a veterinary college on Ballari Road. The wall had been constructed by his civic contractor company. So he was not directly involved in the death, but it has been purportedly due to his “negligence”.
In May, 2017, three women corporators had threatened to commit suicide, alleging that Munirathna’s aide had assaulted them sexually. One of them was Asha Suresh, from his own party, who alleged that he had tortured her as well as her family and filed 20 cases against all of them.
Sampath Raj, INC, C V Raman Nagar
One case has been filed against Sampath Raj, D J Halli Police Station in 2016, under IPC 447 and 34. Court hasn’t taken cognizance yet and investigation is in progress. Charges haven’t been framed yet.
R.K. Ramesh, INC candidate, Bangalore south
According to his 2018 affidavit, some cases are pending against him at the Judicial Magistrate of First Class (JMFC), Anekal, Bangalore (Dist) in 2009. Cognizance of the case was taken by JMFC.
The court took cognizance of the cases filed against him under Secs 143, 147, 427, 186, 189, 353, 341, 504, 506 and IPC.
It also took cognizance of cases under Sec 149 and 143, 323, 504, 506 and IPC Sec 149.
B.Z. Zameer Ahmed, INC, MLA, Chamrajpet
According to the 2018 affidavit, there is one case pending against him, in which charges have been framed by the court for an offence punishable with imprisonment of two years or more.
One FIR was filed in 2013, at Bankapura Police Station, Shiggavi taluk, IPC 1860, under Sections 279 (rash driving), 337, 338 (endangering personal safety of others), 304A (causing death by negligence) and under sections of Motor Vehicles Act. The charges have not been framed. The case has been stayed, after the Criminal Revision petition, in 2016. This is related to an accident involving a bus owned by National Travels, a company Zameer Ahmad Khan is part of.
There was also a mysterious Rs 2.5-crore highway robbery, which was linked to Zameer Ahmad Khan, but no case has been filed on him. This case also throws light into the interesting political past of Karnataka.
Ashoka, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), MLA from Padmanabhanagar
According to the 2018 affidavit, there are no “serious” or non-bailable IPC cases charged against him. Yet, there is one pending case, although cognizance has not been taken by the court and charges have not been framed.
In January 2018, an FIR was filed against him by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Bengaluru Urban. Currently, the ‘Baigar Hukum’ land scam case is pending before the Court of the Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bengaluru Metropolitan area.
R Ashoka moved the High Court to question the “legality” of the registration accusing him of “alleged irregularities in regularisation of unauthorised occupation of government land during 1998–2007”. R Ashoka is convinced that the case was engineered by the Congress, so he questioned the “legality” of the case. The case is part of an FIR registered under “Criminal Misconduct” of Section 13 (1) c and 13 (1) (d) read with Section 13 (2).
In 2013, a complaint was registered by the Karnataka Lokayukta police. The investigation is in progress.
Dr Ashwath Narayan CN, BJP MLA from Malleshwaram
A case was filed against him before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. Cognizance was taken in 2013. The case was filed under IPC Section 171-B. The accusation included “giving or offering gratification to induce a person to exercise any electoral right; Section 171-E – Punishment for committing offence under Section 171-B; 188: Disobedience to order promulgated by pubic servant; Section 34: Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.”
He has filed an appeal for revision of the case, which is pending before the High Court of Karnataka.
Arvind Limbavalli, BJP MLA, Mahadevapura
Arvind Limbavalli has a case pending before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, according to his 2018 affidavit. The court took cognizance of the case March this year. The case was filed under Sections 341, 143, 147 and 283 R/w of the IPC.
The cases were related to “wrongful restraint, unlawful assembly, rioting, causing danger or obstruction in public way and common object in unlawful assembly.”
In his 2013 affidavit, he did not mention any cases against him. High Court of Karnataka had quashed an FIR by Lokayukta police on Limbavali that charged him of favouring a well-known builder. The State government appealed against it in the Supreme Court and lost it in 2017.
Somanna, BJP, Govindaraja Nagar
Two cases were filed against him in 2011 and 2012 by the Lokayukta Police. In 2011, the Lokayukta court ordered the Lokayukta police to file an FIR against V. Somanna, along with B.S. Yeduyurappa, to investigate the complaints of land grabbing, under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. In 2012, a private complaint was filed before the Lokayukta judge, N.K. Sudhindra Rao. Somanna was accused of possessing “assets that are more than twice his income”. He was also accused of concealing and undervaluing the real value of his assets.
In the first case, Karnataka Lokayukta Police submitted a ‘B’ report. Judgment is pending in another case.
Katta Subramanya Naidu, BJP candidate, Shivaji Nagar
According to his 2018 affidavit, a special court case filed in 2011 is pending before the City Civil Court. Cognizance was taken in 2011.
Another special court case was filed and cognizance too was taken in 2014. It is pending in the City Civil Court. In 2015, an FIR was filed in the Sampangiram Nagar Police Station and is pending before the 9th ACMM. Cognizance was taken in 2015. In 2011, an FIR was pending but dismissed by the courts.
The FIRs were filed under the following IPC sections:
Under Section 13(1)(d) r/w 13(2) of the PC Act, read with Section 420, 465, 471 and 120 (B) of the IPC; Under Section 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002; Under Section 36 and 37 of the Karnataka Police Act, Section 109, 188, 171B and 171C of the IPC and under Section 126 of the Representation of the People’s Act.
Muni Naga Reddy, BJP candidate, Sarvagnanagar
According to his 2018 Affidavit, there are four cases pending against the BJP candidate.
An FIR was filed by the Hennur Police Station to the Court of the XI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in 2007. It was filed under Sections 447 and 420 of the IPC and Section 192(A) of the Land Revenue Act. It entailed criminal trespass, cheating and unlawful entry of occupancy of government land.
The case was taken cognizance of in March, 2008, for Sections 143, 144, 147, 148, 324, 504, 506 and 149 of the IPC (unlawful assembly with deadly weapons, rioting with deadly weapons, hurting with dangerous weapons or means, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace and criminal intimidation.)
Another FIR was filed by the Kothanur Police Station to the Court of the XI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in 2011 and taken cognizance of in the following year. It was filed under Sections 420 and 506 of IPC, involving Cheating and Criminal Intimidation.
A case was filed, in the Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Special Court in 2013 and taken cognizance of in 2017. It was filed by the BMTF Police under Sections 192 (A) and 192 (B) of Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964. It entails unlawfully entering or occupying government land and abetting the above offence.
A Crime case was filed in 2018 by the K.G. Halli Police under Sections 143, 447, 107, 108, 353, 188, 504, 506 r/w 149 of IPC. The sections involve trespass of disputed property, unlawful assembly, threat to life etc. It is pending in the Court of the XI Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, and is in the investigation stage.
Nandiesha Reddy, BJP candidate, K.R. Puram
According to his 2018 affidavit, 11 cases were filed against him by the Mahadevpura Police Station and are pending at the 43rd Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
Two cases have been filed by the Ramamurthy Nagar Police Station and pending with the 10th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
Cognizance for 120(B), 386, 468, 420, 447, 467,383, 473 and 506 (B) IPC were taken in six cases. Cognizance was also taken for IPC Sections 420, 468, 471, 467 and 447, 506 (B), 506, 34, 504, 353 IPC. Section 190 and 200 IPC are included too. Another case has IPC 386, 468, 420, 467 and 447 slapped on him.
Appeals for revision were filed for 11 cases to the High Court, which stayed the proceedings.
The various IPC Sections translate to criminal conspiracy, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, forgery for cheating, using as genuine a forged document, criminal trespass, criminal intimidation, group crime, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace and assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.
Muniraju Gowda, BJP candidate, Rajarajeshwarinagar
According to his 2018 affidavit, an FIR was filed against him at Thalagattapura Police Station (Bangalore Rural) for a crime that is punishable under IPC Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 354 (sexual harassment).
FIRs filed at Puttenahalli (Bengaluru Urban) under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 448 (house-trespass) have been stayed by the High Court. A third FIR was filed at Wilson Garden Police Station (Urban) under Sections 149 (unlawful assembly) and 353 (assault on public servant, stopping from discharge of duty). The court has taken cognizance of the case.
H.M. Krishnamurthy, JD(S), Rajajinagar
According to his 2018 affidavit, an FIR was filed against Krishnamurthy at the Annapoorneshwari Police Station, under IPC Sections 468 and 467 (Forgery of a will, for the purpose of cheating) in 2018, in front of the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. But the charges have not yet been framed.
Madhusudan N, JD(S) candidate, Malleswaram
According to his 2018 affidavit, a case is pending, but the court has not framed charges against him. An FIR has been filed against him at the Banasawadi Police Station, under Section 323 R/W 34 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the IPC.
Hanumanthe Gowda, JD(S) candidate, Hebbal
A case against him is pending before the IV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Bengaluru. Cognizance was taken by the court in January, 2016. Offenses have been committed Sections 379, 406, 464, 468, 420, 120 (B) and R/W of the IPC.
R Prabhakar Reddy, JDS, Bangalore South
A number of FIRs have been filed against the JDS candidate. There are 22 FIRs at the Madiwala Police Station, pending in the file of the III Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (ACMM) for offences punishable under Sections 468, 471, 120-B of IPC. They were all registered in 2016.
In the same year, an FIR was also filed in the Electronic City police station, pending in the file of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bangalore Rural, for alleged offences punishable under Section 463 IPC.
An FIR was filed in the BMTF Police Station, pending in the file of the CMM Court for alleged offences punishable under Section 192-A of KLR Act, under Section 420 of IPC.
Nine FIRs were filed in the Jayanagara Police Station and are pending in the files of the Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, for an alleged offence punishable under Section 135 of the Karnataka Electricity Act. They were registered in 2016.
The charges fall under IPC 341 (wrongful restraint), IPC 447 (criminal trespass), IPC 504 (intentional insult meant to provoke breach of peace), IPC 506 (criminal intimidation) and IPC 34 (criminal collusion)
K Devadas, JDS, BTM Layout
According to his 2018 manifesto, cases have been filed and are pending before the courts. In 2013, an FIR was filed in Dindugul Police Station, Tamil Nadu. In 2016, three FIRs were filed before Mico Layout.
The main sections under which the first FIR was filed included IPC 341 (wrongful restraint) and IPC 294 (b) (uttering obscene words in or near any public place). IPC 506 (II) (criminal intimidation), Section 125A of Representation of People Act (filing false affidavits).
Other charges are under IPC 199 (false statement in a declaration), IPC 171 (G) (false statement in connection with an election) ButIPC 379 (theft). Charges have not been framed in any of the cases. The courts stayed the proceedings of the second and third cases.
T N Javarayi Gowda, JD(S), Yeshwanthpur
According to his affidavit, there are three cases where the Courts took cognizance and charged him under section 471, 474 read Section 34; 193 465, 468, 471, 201read with 120B and 143,447, 324, 504, 506 read with section 149 of the IPC . These sections deal with forgery and false evidence, unlawful assembly, criminal trespassing, criminal intimidation, intentional insult to provoke breach of peace and voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons.
V K Gopal, JD(S), Padmanabhanagar
Two cases were registered in Sheshadripuram Police station Case # 80/2013 and 45/2014. B reports have been filed for both of them.
B R Bhaskar Prasad, AAP, Mahadevapura
He has been charged under various IPC sections, that relate to unlawful assembly, mischief, extortion, criminal intimidation, rioting, forgery, wrongful restraint, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means, in Nelamangala Police Station.
Prithvi Reddy, AAP, Sarvagnanagar
Prithvi Reddy has been charged with IPC sections related to public nuisance and assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharging the duty.
Mohan Dasari, AAP, C V Raman Nagar
Mohan Dasari has been charged with unlawful assembly, rioting and wrongful restraint.
Note: Revathi Sivakumar and Manasi Pareshkumar contributed to this article.