in the high court of karnataka at bangalore dated this the 9th day of

in the high court of karnataka at bangalore dated this the 9th day of

1 ® IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 9TH DAY OF APRIL 2014 BEFORE THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE S.N.SATYANARAYANA CRIMINAL PETITI...

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® IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA AT BANGALORE DATED THIS THE 9TH DAY OF APRIL 2014 BEFORE THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE S.N.SATYANARAYANA CRIMINAL PETITION NO.2122 OF 2014 BETWEEN: Ms.Shweta Prabhu, 22 years in age, Presently employed with M/s. TV9, a subsidiary of Associated Broadcasting Company Pvt. Ltd., Rhenius Street, Richmond Town, BENGALURU – 25.

.. PETITIONER.

(By Smt.Shwetha Anand, Adv.) AND: 1.

The State of Karnataka, By Sadashivanagar P.S., At the instance of Sri.D.K.Shivakumar, Represented by the State Public Prosecutor, High Court Buildings, BENGALURU – 560 001.

2.

Sri.D.K.Shivakumar, S/o Sri.D.K.Kempegowda, Aged about 57 Years, R/@ No.252, 19th Main, 18th Cross, Sadashivanagar, BENGALURU – 560 080. (By Sri.B.J.Eswarappa, HCGP for R-1) *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

... RESPONDENTS.

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This petition is filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, praying to quash the FIR registered before the Sadashivanagar Police Station, Bengaluru City, Bengaluru, in Crime No.45/2014 pending before the XXIII Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge at Bangalore. This petition coming on for Admission this day, the Court made the following: ORDER Third accused in Crime No.45/2014 pending on the file of XXIII Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bangalore, has come up in this petition seeking quashing of the aforesaid complaint, which is registered with Sadashivanagar Police Station.

2.

Compliant in the aforesaid crime number is lodged by

second respondent herein, who is said to be a sitting Minister of Karnataka State. The complaint is lodged by him against petitioner and two others for the alleged offence punishable under Sections 9 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The contents of complaint dated 10.03.2014, at

Annexure-A, would disclose that two persons claiming themselves to be representatives of London based company, namely M/s. Energo Power company came along with one

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Sri.Subhash Balaji to meet the complainant and said to have stated

that

said

company

wanted

to

start

electricity

generating unit in the State of Karnataka, for which they wanted his help and cooperation. It is also stated by him that he felt their behaviour appeared to be suspicious.

Hence,

informed the higher police officials about their visit and instructed them to keep a watch on them and also to be present when they come back to visit him again. It is stated that at about 4.30 p.m., said representatives again came back to meet him and in that meeting in anticipation of cooperation and help from him to set up the unit, they offered to pay money to him in the form of bribe. At that time, the police officers who were waiting outside, were called in and the offer of bribe made by them was informed to the police and they were handed over to the police who were waiting outside.

3.

It is stated that when police enquired about their

antecedents and on whose behalf they have come to do this act, it is stated that they admitted that they are the representatives of TV 9 news channel and their name is Smt.Shwetha Prabhu and Sri.Shreyas. It is also stated that

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they informed the complainant and police that TV 9 news channel Director Sri.Mahendra Mishra had directed them to offer bribe to the Minister and to trap him. The complainant being faced with this has filed the aforesaid complaint which is registered in Crime No.45/2014 by Sadashivanagara Police for offences punishable under Sections 9 and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

4.

The said complaint is registered not only against the

petitioner herein but against two other persons also, wherein petitioner herein is third accused. She has come up in this petition seeking quashing of the aforesaid criminal proceeding on the ground that she and her colleague had gone to the house of complainant to conduct a sting operation i.e., inducing the complainant to accept the bribe for doing a particular job and thereby to expose him as a person who is amenable to receive bribe.

On behalf of petitioner it is

contended that the conduct of petitioner and her colleague in visiting the house of complainant for the purpose of conducting sting operation does not amount to offence and it is their right, which they have exercised.

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5.

However, learned counsel for the petitioner is unable to

explain the source of such right to the petitioner and other accused to conduct the so-called sting operation. She is not able to explain whether such right is constitutional right, statutory

right

or

a

contractual

right,

for

which

the

complainant is also a party. However, she vehemently tried to assert that Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India provides such right to her. Article 19 (1)(g) reads thus:

“19(1)(g) to practice any profession, or to

carry

on

any

occupation,

trade

or

business.” A reading of Article 19(1)(g) would clearly indicate that said article would not support the aforesaid act of the petitioner and others and also would not cloth them with any immunity to do such an act as explained by them as sting operation.

6.

On going through the materials available on record it is

clearly seen that the incident has taken place in the residence of complainant where the petitioner and other persons have

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voluntarily gone to induce the said person to accept the bribe, which is offered by them in furtherance of their sting operation.

With the materials available on record it is not

clearly seen, whether said conduct is to trap the Minister in sting operating or whether to really secure favour from him on behalf of alleged London based power company.

7.

In the light of petitioner not having any manner of right

to conduct such sting operation against the complainant or any other person, to accept the grounds in a petition to say that they have committed that act in furtherance of their job and in exercise of their so called right cannot be accepted. In any event, the act of sting operation being conducted by the petitioner and her colleague not in dispute. The reason for the same will have to be ascertained through proper investigation. Therefore quashing the proceedings initiated against them based on the complaint of respondent No.2 would

be

premature,

would

result

in

scuttling

investigation even before it is commenced.

the

Therefore,

question of quashing the proceeding initiated against them pursuant to a complaint lodged by second respondent does

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not arise unless the same is thoroughly investigated in to by the police from all angles. 8.

The version of petitioner and her colleague that their

intention was only to conduct a sting operation can be accepted only on the basis of the outcome of investigation in to the matter in the form of report to be filed by the police after conducting a full fledged enquiry in to the same. Therefore,

in

the

light

of

the

aforesaid

facts

and

circumstances question of considering the aforesaid petition to quash the complaint registered against the petitioner and others does not arise. 9.

Hence, this Court feel that no grounds are made out to

quash

the

proceeding

pending

investigation

in

Crime

No.45/2014 on the file of XXIII Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge, Bangalore, as it is premature in stage. Accordingly, this criminal petition is dismissed.

Sd/JUDGE. AGV/nd.