Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Madal Virupakshappa, who was absconding since being booked in a corruption case, surfaced in his Channagiri constituency in Davanagere district on Tuesday, 7 March, after the Karnataka High Court granted him anticipatory bail.
How did the MLA defend the bribery allegation? On resurfacing, the BJP leader received a rousing welcome by his supporters who burst crackers and garlanded the MLA. He then told reporters, “I am 100 percent confident that I will be acquitted in the case. The source of money seized from my house was not corruption. The money is the income from agriculture and legitimate businesses run by the family."
He added, "Rs 4-5 crore can be found even at the house of a common man. As we have a lot of businesses, Rs 6 crore is not a big deal for us. I will submit all the relevant documents to the Lokayukta."
What happened earlier: Virupakshappa's son Prashanth Madal was allegedly caught red-handed by Lokayukta officers on 2 March, while accepting a bribe of Rs 40 lakh on behalf of his father - who was the chairman of Karnataka Soap & Detergents Limited (KSDL), the company which manufactures the famous Mysore Sandal Soap.
After the video of the raid went viral, the MLA resigned from KSDL. Prashanth is the chief accounts officer of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
How much money was recovered: A day after the raid, Lokayukta officers raided Madal’s residence – where they recovered over Rs 6 crore in unaccounted-for cash.
What did the High Court say: The single judge bench of the High Court granted anticiptory bail to Virupakshappa on a surety of Rs 5 lakh. The MLA was also barred from entering the KSDL premises without clearance from the court or the government. He was further asked to surrender to the Lokayukta within 48 hours. The matter will be heard further on 17 March.
The deposition: On Thursday, 9 March, Virupakshappa reached the Lokayukta's office, where Deputy Superintendent of Police Antony John JK, who has been appointed as the investigation officer, interrogated the MLA.