Bribery case accused BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa goes ‘incommunicado’, Lokayukta forms 3 teams to track him

For the ₹6.1 crore confiscated by Lokayukta sleuths from the MLA's house, there would be a separate DA case: Sources

ByBellie Thomas

Published Mar 04, 2023 | 9:21 PM Updated Mar 04, 2023 | 9:21 PM

Lokayukta raid on office of BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, whose son was held for bribery

The Karnataka Lokayukta is on the lookout for the Channagiri Assembly constituency MLA Madal Virupakshappa.

The BJP MLA has allegedly gone “incommunicado” ever since an FIR was registered mentioning him as the prime accused in a bribery case.

The FIR, registered on Thursday evening, mentions Madal Virupakshappa, the chairman of Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL), as accused No 1.  His son Prashanth and four others are accused as well.

On Friday afternoon, Virupakshappa tendered his resignation from the post of chairman at KSDL.

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3 teams formed to track Madal Virupakshappa

Lokayukta sources told South First that they have formed three teams to track the BJP MLA’s whereabouts so that a notice could be served, after intimating the Speaker of the House about the case.

Virupakshappa’s son Prashanth Madal — the “bribe taker” — along with four others, who were “bribe-givers”, were arrested by the Lokayukta sleuths on Thursday evening, and the five accused have been produced before the magistrate who has remanded them to judicial custody until 16 March.

The other four accused have been identified as Surendhra Sundar, an office accountant in Prashanth’s office, Siddesh alias Anil (28), a native of Bheemasandra village in Chitradurga, Albert Nicola (51), a field worker, from Karnataka Aroma Company from Neelasandra, and Gangadhar (45), also a field worker with the Karnataka Aroma Company.

Based on a complaint from one Shreyas Kashyap, a partner with Chemical Corporation in Bengaluru, the Lokayukta registered an FIR against six persons including the BJP MLA Virupakshappa and his son Prashanth Madal V, who serves as the chief accountant cum financial advisor and CEO with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB).

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Sections against the son

According to senior Lokayukta police officials, Prashanth has been booked under Section 7(A) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) which prosecutes the accused for accepting bribe of ₹40 lakh.

The total amount of bribe demanded was ₹81 lakh, and ₹40 lakh was the first installment, Lokayukta sources added.

The four other accused — Surendhra Sundar, Siddesh alias Anil, Albert Nicola and Gangadhar — have been booked under Section 8 of the PCA for offering bribes to a government official.

Lokayukta sources elaborated that ₹40 lakh was seized from the possession of Prashanth while ₹1.62 crore from Prashanth’s office was seized from the possession of the four accused who were offering the said money as bribe for the allocation of tenders at the behest of the KSDL.

“We have so far not intimated to the Speaker about questioning the legislator; however, as the investigation proceeds, we may intimate and summon him (Madal Virupakshappa) for questioning,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Lokayukta Subramaneshwar Rao told South First.

Related: Lokayukta seizures from house of BJP MLA and his son

Inventory of seizures

Soon after ₹40 lakh was confiscated from Prashanth and ₹1.62 crore from the MLA’s office on Crescent Road in Bengaluru, the Lokayukta sleuths continued with searches at the house of KSDL Managing Director Mahesh M, in Banashankari 1st stage, but they did not find any cash.

Simultaneously, searches were conducted at the MLA’s son’s house in Sanjay Nagar where ₹6.1 crore of unaccounted money was found.

Searches, simultaneously, were carried out at the house of MLA at his hometown in Channagiri in Davanagere on Friday.

The sleuths confiscated the entire sum of cash of ₹6.1 crore, along with 4.4 kg gold, 26 kg silver ornaments, two luxury cars and other investment details.

The sleuths have given the MLA and his family time for declaring the source of their assets.

According to the Lokayukta officials, MLA Madal Virupakshappa has 232 acres of land in Chitradurga district, 60 acres in Shivamogga district, 64 acres in Davangere, and 52 acres in Vijayanagar.

BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa to be questioned?

“The probe is on, and depending on his involvement and role in the money transactions and other documentation, we will obtain a legal opinion, and then the MLA will be served a notice for appearing before Lokayukta for questioning,” Superintendent of Police, Ashok KN, Lokayukta told South First.

“As far the seized ₹6.1 core from the MLA’s house is concerned, we have to ascertain the source of the assets after which, if need be, there will be a case of Disproportionate Assets (DA) which will be investigated separately,” IGP Subramaneshwar Rao told South First.