The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday came down hard on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and other Congress leaders for holding protests demanding the arrest of the then state minister K S Eshwarappa over the Santhosh Patil suicide case in Bengaluru in April 2022.
The court imposed a fine of ₹10,000 on the CM, his cabinet colleagues M B Patil (Minister of Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development) and Ramalinga Reddy (Transport Minister) as well as senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, summoning them before the people’s representatives’ court.
The court summoned CM Siddaramaiah on March 6, Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy on March 7, Congress Karnataka in-charge R S Surjewala on March 11 and M B Patil on March 15, news agency ANI reported.
The Congress leaders had all staged a demonstration inside the Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, demanding Eshwarappa’s immediate arrest after the former minister was linked to the contractor, Santhosh Patil’s death. They had allegedly also marched illegally towards former CM Basavaraj Bommai’s official residence, seeking Eshwarappa’s resignation from his post.
In this light, a single judge bench of the Karnataka High Court, consisting of Justice Krishna Dixit, dismissed a petition filed by CM Siddaramaiah and others seeking to quash the criminal case lodged against them.
Civil works contractor Patil was found dead in a lodge in Udupi in April 2022. He had accused Eshwarappa of corruption, alleging that he demands 40 per cent commission on each contract.
Eshwarappa was in charge of the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) department and had resigned after the row over his alleged involvement in the contractor’s death.
(With inputs from ANI)