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Karnataka High Court refuses to quash FIR against firms involved in horse race betting  

CCB police have raided the operators and seized Rs 3.45 crore.
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 23:41 IST
Last Updated : 03 May 2024, 23:41 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has refused to quash an FIR and related proceedings against 26 firms/companies involved in horse race betting activities at the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC).

Central Crime Branch (CCB) has been investigating the case, registered with the High Grounds police in January 2024. The offences registered are under Section 78(1)(a)(i) of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963; Section 12 of the Karnataka Race Betting Act; and Section 420 of IPC.

CCB police have raided the operators and seized Rs 3.45 crore.

The petitioners challenged the proceedings, claiming that they are licenced bookies and are authorised to collect the betting amount from punters. They claimed only GST authorities can investigate the matter, if there are tax violations. Moreover, the CCB is not a police station and therefore, cannot investigate the case, the petitioners argued.

The police, however, argued that if the bookies operated without authorisation, they could invoke the Karnataka Police Act. The punters stated that the bookies had collected 25% GST and issued no formal receipt while collecting the betting amount.

Justice S Vishwajith Shetty said the allegations in the FIR and the materials the investigating officer collected, prima facie, make a cognisable offence against the accused. The court also observed that the investigation had been stalled by the high court’s interim order.

"The allegations against the accused are of very serious nature and the accused, among other allegations, allegedly have misappropriated crores of money collected by them towards payment of GST and TDS. Under the circumstances, I am of the opinion that the prayer made by the petitioners for quashing the FIR registered against them cannot be granted,” the court said.

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Published 03 May 2024, 23:41 IST

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