MCC violation: Karnataka High Court grants interim relief to Deputy CM DK Shivakumar

The case was registered on 19 April following a complaint by the BJP to the Election Commission alleging that Shivakumar attempted to blackmail voters.


Published Apr 25, 2024 | 10:20 PM Updated Apr 25, 2024 | 10:21 PM

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar

The Karnataka High Court has granted interim relief to Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, facing charges of model code violation during the campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

Justice Krishna S Dixit directed the authorities concerned to refrain from taking further action against him until the next hearing, on his petition challenging the FIR registered against him.

The case was registered on 19 April following a complaint by the BJP to the Election Commission of India (ECI) alleging that Shivakumar, who is also Congress state president, attempted to blackmail voters.

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‘Attempt to blackmail voters’

The BJP claimed that during an election speech at Rajarajeshwari Nagar, while campaigning for his brother and LS candidate DK Suresh, Shivakumar promised voters Cauvery water supply and occupancy certificates in exchange for votes for the Congress.

Expressing reservations, the Court questioned whether the remarks attributed to Shivakumar would constitute offences under Sections 171B (bribery) and 171C (undue influence at elections) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The judge emphasised the need for deeper consideration of the matter and sought to know whether Shivakumar’s statements strictly meet the parameters of the charged sections.

However, the Court asked Shivakumar’s counsel to advise his client to be more cautious in his speeches. Additionally, it raised concerns regarding the time given to Shivakumar by the EC to respond to a notice served on him.

Granting interim relief to Shivakumar, the Court expressed dismay over the declining standards of election speeches and noted that the quality, content, and presentation have fallen “abysmally low.”

Justice Dixit remarked that it was uncertain if such standards could deteriorate further.

The Court recorded an assurance from Shivakumar’s counsel that the Congress leader had been advised to exercise caution over his remarks.

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