Illegal law course: Charges against ex-BCI VC to remain

Illegal law course: Charges against ex-BCI VC to remain

The court said the evidence was enough to conclude that charges are prima facie true.

The Karnataka High Court has refused to set aside an order to frame charges against former vice chairman of Bar Council of India (BCI) and three others accused of illegally granting renewal of law courses to a college in Bengaluru.

Rules require a BCI-appointed team to visit a college before granting/renewing license to offer law course. However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), based on a suo moto complaint, found that the four accused had colluded to grant license illegally to Sarvodaya Law College in the city.

In 2010, the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of CBI filed a case against the Chennai-based advocate and the then vice-chairman of BCI R Dhanaraj, a former student of Sarvodaya college G R Ramesh Prabhu, principal A M R Veeraiah and administrator K Narasimhappa.

‘Malafide inspection’

The CBI alleged that the entire inspection process at the law college was illegal and malafide.

The CBI said the prime accused Dhanaraj and Ramesh Prabhu, who were friends, conspired with principal Veeraiah and administrator Narasimhappa to conduct the malafide inspection in 2010.

The accused then showed it as the legitimate inspection by BCI to grant the license.

In its case before the Special Judge for CBI Cases in Bengaluru, the CBI had charged them with misuse of power, conspiracy and gratification. It said the prime accused demanded Rs 5 lakh for the renewal of licence.

The trial court had passed an order against the accused and asked CBI to frame the charges.

The accused then filed different petitions before the high court with a prayer to set aside the trial court order. Advocates for the petitioners said there were serious irregularities in collecting the voice samples by the investigation officer.

They said the trial court erred since it arrived at a conclusion without proper application of mind. The petitioners prayed for the dismissal of the lower court order.

Special Public Prosecutor P Prasanna Kumar, however, contended that “the scope of the revision petition before this court is limited’’.

The single bench headed by Justice B A Patil, which heard the petition, observed that the evidence before the trial court was enough to conclude that the charges are prima facie true.

“At this juncture of the hearing by the trial court, case shall not be quashed,” it said and directed that the case should be disposed within eight months.