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‘Bribing voters’: Karnataka High Court bins case against BJP MLA Shashikala Jolle

Nippani police in Belagavi district had filed the charge sheet against Shashikala Jolle and one Yuvaraj Appasab Donawade.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 20:48 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 20:48 IST

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Bengaluru: The High Court of Karnataka has quashed the proceedings against former minister Shashikala Jolle in an election offence case registered during the 2023 assembly elections. 

Nippani police in Belagavi district had filed the charge sheet against Shashikala Jolle and one Yuvaraj Appasab Donawade. 

The prosecution case was that on the night of May 10, 2023, the SIT recovered from Yuvaraj Rs 10,000 in cash, voters’ list, handbills with the lotus symbol and containing the photos of the candidate. The allegation was that the recovery had taken place at around 12.35 am and Yuvaraj was found campaigning on behalf of BJP candidate Shashikala Jolle by luring the voters with cash. 

The proceedings were initiated before JMFC, Nipani, for the offences punishable under sections 120(1) and 133 of the Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951 and also for the offences punishable under Section 171(E) of IPC (bribery). 

Justice Krishna S Dixit noted that the requirement to fit into the definition of ‘bribery’ is that there should be a person who gives or at least offers to give any gratification as a reward for exercising the electoral right or for having exercised such a right, by another person. 

“Added to the above, it is not the case of respondents that the alleged act has been done by the person concerned for and on behalf of the petitioner herein. To put it succinctly, what emerges from the complaint is that a particular person was carrying the money and that the same has been seized since it was suspected to be used for electoral offences. All that does not amount to the offence of bribery, even if the allegations are taken at their face value, and therefore there is no scope for invoking section 171(E) of IPC, as rightly submitted by learned counsel for the petitioner,” the court said. 

Insofar as the offence under section 133 of the RP Act is concerned, the court said that employing the vehicle or vessel as contemplated in the provision is a sine qua non for the invocation of this section. 

“It is nobody’s case that something of the kind exists in the allegations levelled against the person concerned and more particularly, the petitioner herein. In the absence of ingredients as specified in section 123(5), one would be miles away from the precincts of section 133 of the 1951 Act,” the court said. 

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Published 17 April 2024, 20:48 IST

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