HC quashes 2nd FIR on protest against Income Tax raids

HC quashes second FIR on protest against Income Tax raids

Representative image. Credit: iStockPhoto

The High Court has quashed the FIR registered against former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy, former ministers G Parameshwara and D K Shivakumar in connection with a protest held outside the Income Tax Department office on Infantry Road in the city on March 28, 2019.

Justice John Michael Cunha quashed the Special Court’s order directing the police to investigate and the subsequent FIR, on the ground that a second FIR on the same incident is not maintainable. 

A Mallikarjuna, a social activist of Gubbi in Tumakuru district, had filed a private complaint against the politicians for staging the protest against the Income Tax Department.

The court gave liberty to the complainant to approach the investigating officer of Commercial Street police station who is investigating the first FIR registered about the incident. The court said the private complaint, filed by Mallikarjuna, can be treated as a statement under section 161 of CrPC.

The petitioner contended that the protest was staged against the targeted income tax raids on JD (S) and Congress leaders at the instigation of the central government. He also stated that the department has not filed any complaint against the leaders and workers who took part in the protest. According to the petitioner, the registration of FIR for holding a protest would violate their fundamental right to protest.

On the day of the protest, a BBMP officer, as part of a flying squad, had filed a complaint with the Commercial Street police station. The complaint said the protest was conducted without prior permission from the Chief Electoral Officer.

The second FIR was registered pursuant to the private complaint filed by Mallikarjuna on November 27, 2020. The FIR at the Commercial Street police station names block secretaries of Congress and JD (S).