The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear the plea of the Karnataka Lokayukta against the grant of anticipatory bail by the high court to BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa, the main accused in the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents (KSDL) contract scam.
The plea was initially mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who asked the Lokayukta's counsel to mention the matter before a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
When the counsel requested that the matter be listed as earlier as possible, the CJI said since the court of the Chief Justice is hearing a constitution bench matter, it will not be possible for the bench to hear it.
CJI Chandrachud said, "You can mention the matter before the bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul. We are hearing a constitution bench matter or else we would have taken it at the end of the board".
The counsel said the matter can be taken up at 2 p.m.
CJI Chandrachud said, "Alright. You mention before Justice Kaul".
The counsel immediately rushed to the court headed by Justice Kaul seeking urgent listing of the plea.
However, Justice Kaul asked the counsel as to what was the urgency for listing of the plea.
The counsel said the accused is a sitting MLA and a large amount of money was seized from his possession.
Justice Kaul then directed that the matter be listed as early as possible and observed that the High Court has already applied its mind.
The counsel requested that the matter be listed at 2 p.m..
However, Justice Kaul said it is a bail cancellation matter and it will be listed in due course.
The BJP MLA's son Prashanth Madal, who is the chief accounts officer of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board, was arrested by the Lokayutka police on March 2 while allegedly receiving a bribe of ₹40 lakh on behalf of his father at the KSDL office.
A single judge bench of the High Court had granted the anticipatory bail to the MLA after hearing his petition.
Mr. Virupakashappa resigned as chairperson of KSDL following his son's arrest.
While granting conditional bail, the high court directed the MLA to appear before the investigating officer in the case within 48 hours of receiving the order copy. The anticipatory bail was granted subject to a bond of ₹5 lakh.
Mr. Virupakshappa was also directed not to tamper with the witness while on bail. The hearing of the petition was adjourned to March 17.
The MLA's petition claimed that he had no role to play in the alleged bribery case and he has been falsely implicated in it.
The alleged scam relates to the supply of chemical to KSDL in which a bribe of Rs 81 lakh was allegedly demanded.
His son was allegedly caught while receiving ₹40 lakh of this bribe on his behalf.
Following the arrest of Prashanth Madal, the Lokayukta police conducted further search operations in the home and offices of the Madals and recovered over ₹8.23 crore in cash.