High Court rejects KPSC ex-chairman's advance bail plea

Bhimappa has been told to exhaust the option at trial court

High Court rejects KPSC  ex-chairman's advance bail plea

The High Court has dismissed the anticipatory bail petition by former chairman of Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) Gonal Bhimappa who faces allegations of large-scale irregularities in the recruitment of gazetted probationaries in 2012-13.

The court, however, extended his interim bail by ten days. Justice K N Keshavanarayana directed the petitioner on Friday to approach the trial court before moving the High Court. “The petition is not maintainable as the petitioner has approached the High Court directly without exhausting his options at the trial court,” the judge said.

Bhimappa has been directed to furnish a bond of Rs five lakh with two sureties. The court also directed him to not influence the witnesses and tamper with the evidence and in case of any violations his interim bail would be cancelled.

During the hearing, the Special Public Prosecutor, S Dore Raju, objected to the bail plea and submitted that the interim relief given to the petitioner was also not maintainable. He further submitted that as the petitioner was an influential person, he can tamper with the evidence.

He also pleaded with the court for a direction to Bhimappa to sign an attendance before the CID regularly, saying he was not cooperating with investigation. The judge then orally said that if he was not cooperating, he should be arrested.

When the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the interim bail can be continued until he approaches the trial court and cited some of the Supreme Court judgements in that regard, the SPP countered it, saying the petitioner had “destroyed” the evidence.

“It is pertinent to mention that when the DIG (CID) raided the petitioner’s house, the latter removed the CPU, the hard disk and other accessories installed in his computer; only wires were hanging. This clearly shows that the petitioner made all efforts to destroy the evidence in the case,” Raju submitted in an affidavit on behalf of the State.

The affidavit also mentioned that Bhimappa “clandestinely” transferred the use of mobile instruments to other people and the phone was seized under mahazar. Stating that various other aspects of the case and the case diary clearly establish that the petitioner prima facie and precisely committed the offence, the affidavit said, “The petitioner instigated his intermediaries to talk to the candidates and directly or indirectly got involved in the crime to sell the posts for a sum and also threatened the candidates with dire consequences with if they disclosed the details to third parties.”

The SPP contended that the offence alleged by the complainant and the affected candidates were serious in nature and non-bailable.

As it was a case of cheating, misrepresentation, fraud, criminal conspiracy and
offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, he urged the court to dismiss Bhimappa’s bail plea.

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