Unlawful assembly: Karnataka HC imposes Rs 10,000 fine, asks CM Siddaramiah to appear in special court

‘There should not be galata’, Court observes

siddaramaiah-cm Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed Chief Minister Siddaramiah and a few other Congress leaders to appear in special court for trial in connection with a criminal case registered against them in 2022 for unlawful assembly. The Court, dismissing their plea to quash the case, imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the chief minister and other leaders. 

The chief minister along with other Congress leaders approached the High Court on Tuesday to quash a criminal case registered against them for unlawful assembly in April 2022. The Congress leaders, without prior permission, marched to then Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s residence demanding the resignation of former Minister K.S. Eshwarappa. Karnataka police registered a case under Section 143 IPC and under Section 103 of the Karnataka Police Act, LiveLaw reported. 

Hearing the plea, the Court said, “If they abide by law rest of the people will abide by law. I have used one sentence from English Literature–Prime Minister and Postman in criminal law stand on a similar footing. So, because going on public roads during day time in Bengaluru, it creates havoc to the people and the police officer said, don't do it,” LiveLaw reported. The Court imposed fine on the leaders for including a police officer as party respondent in her personal capacity.

The Court also fixed specific dates for the petitioners to appear physically in the people's representatives' court. The High Court said, “There should not be galata; they should go and seek orders from the trial judge."

As per court directions, Siddaramiah shall appear before the court on March 6, Surjewala on March 7, M.B. Patil on March 11 and Ramalinga Reddy on March 15. “In the event the legislature session intervenes it is open for the learned judge below to alter the date of appearance," the Court said.

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