Supreme Court grants relief to Siddaramaiah, stays proceedings against Karnataka CM

The case was registered against the Congress leaders after they took out a march to lay siege to the then CM Basavaraj Bommai's residence.


Published Feb 19, 2024 | 12:53 PMUpdatedFeb 19, 2024 | 2:22 PM

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court on Monday, 19 February stayed proceedings against Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and others in connection with a protest march held in the state in 2022.

The bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and PK Mishra also stayed the proceedings against Congress general secretary and Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala and state ministers MB Patil and Ramalinga Reddy.

The court issued notices to the Karnataka government and the complainant in the case. It also stayed the high court order imposing a fine of ₹10,000 on Siddaramaiah and directed him to appear before a special court on 6 March.

They had taken out a march to lay siege to the then chief minister Basavaraj Bommai’s residence in Bengaluru, demanding the resignation of KS Eshwarappa, who was then the rural development and panchayat raj minister in the southern state.

The agitation was staged after a contractor, Santosh Patil, died by suicide, accusing Eshwarappa of demanding a 40 per cent commission for public work in his village. According to police, the case pertained to blocking roads and causing trouble to commuters.

The prosecution case was that the protest was allegedly led despite a High Court order being in operation against conducting marches in Bengaluru other than at Freedom Park.

Appearing for Siddaramaiah, Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi,  said that it was a “political protest” and the criminal case was a violation of the right to protest under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

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