Non-bailable warrant out against Mudigere BJP MLA MP Kumaraswamy in cheque bounce case

BJP MLA Kumaraswamy had been convicted to six months' simple imprisonment in each of eight cheque bounce cases.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Apr 01, 2023 | 7:27 AMUpdatedApr 01, 2023 | 7:27 AM

MP Kumaraswamy from Mudigere who was convicted in cheque bounce case

The People’s Representatives Court in Bengaluru has issued a non-bailable warrant against the Mudigere BJP MLA MP Kumaraswamy in connection with his conviction in a cheque bounce case recently.

In mid February this year, the People’s Representatives Court had convicted MP Kumaraswamy and had directed the MLA to pay ₹1.36 crore to the petitioner, HR Huvappa Gowda, an agriculturist from Chikkamagaluru, within a stipulated time.

If he failed to do so, Kumaraswamy was to undergo six months’ simple imprisonment in each of his eight cheque bounce cases, the court had ruled.

Loan to the MLA, dishonoured cheques

Huvappa Gowda, who was an old friend of the Mudigere MLA, had given an interest-free loan of ₹1.67 crore to Kumaraswamy between 2016 and 2017.

Before the 2018 Assembly polls, Kumaraswamy gave Huvappa Gowda three separate cheques — one for ₹85 lakh, another for ₹80 lakh, and the third for ₹1.7 lakh.

Huvappa Gowda said that Kumaraswamy told him that all accounts between them had been settled after he had given him the cheques.

But when Gowda tried to encash the cheques, they were dishonoured after which Gowda, through his counsel, served a legal notice to the MLA in 2018.

Subsequently, Kumaraswamy is said to have requested Gowda not to pursue with the case, promising to repay the amount at the earliest.

Kumaraswamy then managed to return ₹1.4 crore, with the remaining amount of ₹24.7 lakh still due.

The second loan

The MLA then requested Gowda for another ₹1 crore, this time at a two percent monthly interest. The MLA assured Gowda that he would clear all the loans soon after the 2018 Assembly polls.

When Huvappa Gowda insisted on an agreement, the MLA, along with his driver, took Gowda to the Dharmasthala Manjunatha Temple and promised to return the money in time. After this, Gowda decided to withdraw the cases he had filed against Kumaraswamy.

In 2019, Kumaraswamy again gave Gowda eight cheques that were to be encashed in February 2020 — all of those cheques were dishonoured.

When Gowda enquired about his cash, Kumaraswamy kept giving him unconvincing assurances.

Legal notice sent

Later, Gowda sent another legal notice to the MLA, after which he approached a Chikkamagaluru court, which transferred the case to Bengaluru’s Peoples Representative Court as Kumaraswamy was a sitting MLA.

The People’s Representatives Court, in mid-February, sentenced Kumaraswamy to six months’ simple imprisonment in each of his eight cheque bounce cases.

The court had given Kumaraswamy and his counsel 10 days’ time to file an appeal challenging the verdict. The MLA, however, did not file any appeal.

On 28 March, the court issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the MLA, and the Chikkamagaluru Superintendent of Police have been instructed to arrest Kumaraswamy and produce him before the court.

Another MLA in the dock

Meanwhile, a Bengaluru special court, on Thursday, 30 March, directed the police to investigate the allegations against Belur MLA Lingesh KS and 14 others in a criminal case of alleged grant of 2,750 acres of government land to private parties.

The complaint against them was filed by a city-based resident, KC Rajanna.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of the MP/MLA court, J Preetha, said: “This complaint is referred to SHO (Station House Officer) of Belur police station, Belur taluk, Hassan district, under Section 156(3) of CrPC for investigation.”

The investigation report is to be submitted to the court by 7 July.

The complainant claimed that the MLA, who is the chairman of the Taluk Land Regularisation Committee, conspired with the others, including the members of the committee, to illegally allot 2,750.86 acres of land (by providing farming chits) to powerful persons who were ineligible, as well as minors from Bengaluru by way of fake documents.

“Land reserved for ex-servicemen, the Hemavathi Reservoir Project, and Yagachi Reservoir Project has also been disposed illegally through Akrama Sakrma land grants,” the complainant said.