Cash-for-BJP ticket: More cheating cases registered against accused in Karnataka

Chaitra K., Abhinava Halashree Swami, and five others have been arrested, after a Bengaluru-based businessman Govinda Babu Poojary had allegedly paid ₹4.5 crore over a promise of a BJP ticket

September 24, 2023 12:30 am | Updated 12:30 am IST - Bengaluru

Multiple cheating cases have been registered against the accused in the multi-crore cash-for-BJP ticket case in the State. Chaitra K., Abhinava Halashree Swami, and five others have been arrested, after a Bengaluru-based businessman Govinda Babu Poojary had allegedly paid ₹4.5 crore over a promise of a BJP ticket.

The Kota police of Udupi district filed their submission before the city court seeking the custody of Chaitra in another cheating case. The accused had allegedly taken ₹5 lakh from a fisherman, promising to help him set up a cloth shop.

Meanwhile, another cheating case has been filed against Swami based on a complaint by a former Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) of the Ranathur Gram Panchayat in Shirahatti taluk of Gadag district. The former PDO alleged he had paid the seer ₹1 crore to get him a BJP ticket.

A senior official said that while two more people, who had been allegedly duped by the gang, had come forward with their complaints, a careful analysis of the accused’s call records and the investigation so far have indicated that they duped more people, flaunting their links in the BJP.

Remanded in judicial custody

CCB officials on Saturday produced Chaitra and her six associates arrested in the case before the magistrate, who remanded them in judicial custody for 14 days. The court asked the CCB officials to submit their objections to the bail application coming up on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the seer, who was arrested recently, continues to be in CCB custody.

The officials grilled Chaitra and her associates and recorded their statements before recovering part of the money they had taken from Mr. Poojary. Of the ₹4.5 crore, CCB sleuths have now recovered ₹4.11 crore and the remaining ₹39 lakh had been spent by the accused, police sources said. However, the police have also recovered two luxury cars, one each from Chaitra and Swami, which they allegedly bought using the money.

The police have also recorded the statements of the complainant and witnesses in the case before a magistrate under Section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to prevent them from turning hostile.

Injunction against the use of ‘Kundapura’

The city civil and sessions court on Saturday restrained the media from using the name of ‘Kundapura’ with the accused’s name. The order was issued based on a petition filed by Ganesh Shetty, a resident of Kundapura, seeking the court’s directions to remove the name of ‘Kundapura’, used as a suffix with Chaitra’s name, arguing this had tarnished the image of the town.

The court admitting the plea issued notices to media houses and restrained them from using the name until the next hearing on December 5.

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