The Bengaluru City Police Wednesday filed cases of sedition and defamation, among others, against former Karnataka chief ministers H D Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah besides several others, for allegedly obstructing Income Tax (I-T) officials from discharging their duties during the Lok Sabha elections.
Ministers of the former JD(S)-Congress coalition government, political leaders, former Bengaluru City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar and his then subordinates were also mentioned in the FIR filed by activist A Mallikarjun, a resident of Tumkur, at Commercial Street police. The complaint also named former Deputy CM G Parameshwara, Kanakapura MLA D K Shivakumar, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao, JD(S) MLAs DC Thammanna, Shivalinge Gowda, Sa Ra Mahesh, disqualified MLA Munirathna Naidu, and 10 others politicians from Congress and JD(S).
The case was registered under 24 sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sedition, defamation, public servant concealing design to commit offence, furnishing false informal, criminal intimidation, unlawful assembly, and public mischief among others.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, a police officer said, “The complainant has accused the leaders of violating the model code of conduct during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections by holding protests outside the I-T office in Queen’s Road, Bengaluru, on March 27.”
The officer added, “The complainant had lodged a complaint with us earlier this year for which a non-cognisable offence was filed against the accused. However, after the 82nd City Civil and Sessions court in Bengaluru issued an order on November 22, we filed an FIR on Wednesday.”
The FIR also mentioned names of top police officers from the city – former DCP (East) Rahul Kumar Shahapurwad, former DCP Central Devaraju and six other police officers besides Commissioner Suneel Kumar, for not initiating action against the agitators.
Kumaraswamy leaked info on IT raids in Mandya: Complainant
In his complaint, Mallikarjun alleged that the then chief minister, Kumaraswamy, had leaked out information to the media about IT raids in Mandya before the officials conducted the search. “The I-T department was falsely accused of being agents of the BJP by these leaders,” the complaint read.
Will fight case politically: D K Shivakumar
Reacting to the charges, Congress leader D K Shivakumar said the case will be fought politically. “We are ready to go to jail and we have no problem in doing so. However, we will fight it politically. It is clear that the BJP is continuing to practise political vendetta through their friends and officers affiliated to them,” he said.
While Shivakumar is expected to campaign for Congress candidate Rizwan Arshad in Shivajinagar on Friday, Siddarmaiah will be in Athani (Belagavi) to campaign for his party candidate Gananan Balachandra Mangasuli. Meanwhile, Kumaraswamy will be in Mahalakshmi Layout, Bengaluru to campaign for JD(S) candidate Girish K Nashi for the upcoming bypolls to 15 constituencies in Karnataka which is slated to be held on December 5.
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