The Central Crime Branch of Bengaluru Police on Wednesday rejected the claim made by an advocate linked to BJP leader and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa who said that Rs 1.97 crore cash found in his car was money from his own income. Advocate H M Siddharth was caught with the cash in his car on October 21 last year outside the Vidhan Soudha. Following an investigation, the Bengaluru Police stated in a chargesheet that the seized cash did not belong to Siddharth and that further probe was needed to find out the actual owner of the cash.
Siddharth had earlier appeared on behalf of Yeddyurappa , the state BJP president, in a corruption case. The cash seizure took a political turn after Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said Yeddyurappa would know the source and the destination of the cash.
Initially after the seizure, the police handed over the cash to the Income-Tax authorities, but following the demonetisation announcement on November 8, the police registered a case against the advocate and began investigations to ascertain the source of the cash. The Crime Branch in an interim chargesheet filed in a local court on Wednesday stated that the cash was falsely claimed by the advocate to be a part of his income.
“The investigation reveals the money does not belong to Siddharth. He gave us a list of people claiming that they had given him the money as legal fees but the police team that verified the list found that the people named by the advocate had not given money to him,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) S Ravi.
“We filed an interim chargesheet on Wednesday saying the money does not belong to him. We are yet to find the source of the money,” he said. Siddharth has made contradictory statements on why the cash was in his car and failed to produce documents to substantiate his claim, the police said. Only a few people submitted documents to show that they had paid the advocate but this has added up to only Rs 73 lakh, police sources said. “This shows the accused lied to the police about the source of the money,’’ an officer said.