The family of Santhosh Patil, the contractor from Karnataka's Belagavi who died by suicide after accusing former Karnataka Minister KS Eshawappa of corruption, has moved a court in Bengaluru against the clean chit given to Eshawarappa. Santhosh Patil had died after alleging that former minister KS Eshwarappa's aides sought 40 per cent commission for road construction project he had done.
Prashath Patil, a cousin of Santhosh Patil, on Tuesday August 23, submitted a petition questioning the clean chit given to Eshwarappa by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) in the Special People's Representative Court in Bengaluru. He alleged that the SIT sleuths have filed the B-report (closure report for want of evidence) after coming under political influence. He has also sought the court to entrust the case to a different agency.
The Udupi police in Karnataka had last month filed a 'B' report which said that there was no evidence to support that Eshwarappa had any role to play in the contractor’s suicide. Santhosh Patil was found dead in April 2022 and a message to his friends had alleged that former Minister KS Eshwarappa was the “sole reason for his death.”
After Santhosh Patil’s death created a massive uproar, the then Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Eshwarappa was forced to resign from the cabinet. The Congress party has questioned the submission of the closure report and had started an agitation campaign against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, demanding Eshwarappa's resignation and arrest.
Congress President DK Shivakumar claimed that the government was hushing up the corruption cases against its leaders. "Even the BJP leaders are not getting justice and the common man will also not get justice," he stated.
Before the closure report was filed, Santhosh Patil’s wife had written to Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot seeking a transparent investigation into the death of her husband, and had alleged that the police were working in compliance with KS Eshwarappa, the main accused in the case. In her letter, she alleged that the former minister had used his political power and money to influence the investigation in his favour and that the police were acting as per his orders.