Karnataka BJP MLA MP Kumaraswamy sentenced to 4 years in jail in cheque-bounce case

A Special Court for Elected Representatives pronounced the verdict convicting Karnataka lawmaker in eight cheque bounce cases.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Feb 13, 2023 | 10:07 PM Updated Feb 14, 2023 | 1:10 AM

Karnataka BJP lawmaker MP Kumaraswamy. (mp.kumaraswamy/Facebook)

In a rude shock to MP Kumaraswamy, the Mudigere constituency’s sitting BJP MLA, a Bengaluru court on Monday, 13 February, found him guilty in several cheque-bounce cases.

The Special Court for the Elected Representatives, which was hearing eight cheque-bounce cases against the Karnataka Assembly member, sentenced him to a jail term of six months in each case.

The MLA thus has to spend four years in jail if he fails to pay back the money in a stipulated time frame.

The case

Huvappagowda, a complainant and friend of the Mudigere MLA, told reporters: “I had given an interest-free loan of ₹1.66 crores to Kumaraswamy between 2016 and 2017. Before the 2018 Assembly polls, he gave three separate cheques — one was of ₹85 lakh, another was ₹80 lakh, and the third was of ₹1.7 lakh.”

He added: “Kumaraswamy said that all the accounts had been settled. When I tried to encash the cheques, they bounced. I served a legal notice to him through my advocate in 2018.”

Huvappagowda elaborated: “He requested me not to pursue the case further and promised to repay the amount at the earliest. However, he returned ₹1.4 crore and the remaining ₹24.7 lakh was due. Then, he requested for another ₹1 crore with the assurance of clearing all the loans soon after the Assembly polls.”

He further said: “I refused to give the money, but he forced me to give him the money. I gave another ₹68 lakh to him. There was a pending amount of ₹24.7 lakh. With this, I had lent ₹94.70 lakh to Kumaraswamy.”

Also read: Assault on MLA MP Kumaraswamy exposes BJP infighting

The legal path

Huvappagowda continued: “When I insisted on an initial agreement, he along with his driver took me to the Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple and promised to return the money in time. I withdrew all the cases on him.”

He added: “In 2019, he gave me eight cheques. I had put these cheques to encash in February 2020 and all of them bounced. Then, he kept on making fake assurances of repaying the loan, but never returned a single penny.”

Huvappagowda said he then sent another legal notice to the legislator.

Then, when he approached a Chikkamagaluru court, they transferred the case to Bengaluru’s Peoples Representative Court, reasoning that he was an elected representative.

“I had no ill intentions against the MLA. I only wanted him to return my money,” said Huvappagowda.

“I had financially assisted him only because he was a good friend of mine. Now, the court has served justice on the matter,” he added.

“I am not bothered about whether he will go to jail or not. All I want him to do is settle my account,” said Huvappagowda.

When South First tried to contact Kumaraswamy over the phone, he was out of reach.