A magistrate court in Karnataka’s Mudigere on Wednesday issued a non-bailable warrant against Malavika Hegde, a director of Cafe Coffee Day Global Ltd and the daughter of BJP leader and former Union Minister SM Krishna. Malavika Hegde is the wife of CCD Founder VG Siddhartha, who died due to drowning in Nethravathi river in 2019 in Dakshina Kannada district.The non-bailable warrant has been issued in connection with the cheque bounce case. The court also noted that the order could be construed as a non-bailable warrant in an event where the accused persons do not turn up for questioning.
In June this year, coffee cultivator K Nandish had approached the Joint Magistrate First Class with a plea to arrest the accused, alleging that the company had issued cheques to coffee cultivators twice, which had bounced on both occasions. In his complaint to the court, Nandish had stated that Coffee Day had purchased green coffee beans from him and had issued 10 post dated cheques amounting to Rs 45,38,554. The cheques were from Canara Bank’s branch in Chikkamagaluru. When he deposited the cheques at Axis Bank, he was informed that the transaction could not happen due to insufficient funds.
"The court had initially summoned them for questioning on October 6. Since they did not appear, the court has issued a non-bailable warrant," K Nandish told the media on Wednesday.
The matter has been posted to November 11 and the accused persons must now appear before the court and get the warrant recalled.
Nandish said he had been supplying coffee seeds to Siddhartha's company ABC for many years. When Siddhartha was alive, he used to issue deferred cheques with an interest of 10 to 12%, Nandish said.
"After his death, all our payments were held up but later the people in the company assured us that they will honour their cheques and our money will not go anywhere. When the cheques bounced the first time, I sent a legal notice to the company in March this year. They issued another set of cheques, which bounced too," he alleged, while adding that the company repeatedly assured him that his dues would be cleared by the end of October this year.
"We had outstanding payments to 1,020 Coffee planters of Chikkamagaluru and Hassan one year back.We have fully paid back 700 plus planters in the last 11 months. We have also made part payments to the remaining planters.The group's fundraising plans were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and hence the delay in completing the payments. But we remain committed to meeting all our obligations," Cafe Coffee Day said in a statement.