Rebel Congress MLA Roshan Baig, who was detained on Monday evening by the Special Investigation Team probing the multi-crore IMA ponzi scheme, moved the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday challenging the SIT’s move.
Baig had courted detention as he was set to board a chartered flight to an unconfirmed location on Monday evening where many of the rebel MLAs of the ruling coalition are staying.
The news of his detention on Monday evening was tweeted by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy himself. "BJP MLA Yogeshwar was present at the time (of Baig's detainment). It’s a shame that BJP is helping a former minister escape, who is facing a probe in the IMA case. This clearly shows BJP's direct involvement in destabilizing the govt through horse-trading,” the CM tweeted.
The timing of the detention has been questioned by Baig as he was asked to appear before the SIT by July 19.
The SIT in a statement said, "Baig was detained for questioning at the Kempegowda International Airport when he was about to take off in a private aircraft to an unconfirmed destination from Bengaluru."
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is set to resume hearing the case concerning the political crisis in Karnataka and a floor test is to be held on Thursday.
Baig is among the 15 MLAs who have moved the Supreme Court to direct the Speaker to accept their resignations and effectively dislodge the current government.
Members of the SIT declined to comment on the timing of his detention.
However, SIT sources told TNM that Roshan Baig had sent a letter to the investigators stating that he would not be able to appear for questioning until July 25 and sought more time. SIT officials suspected that Baig would abscond if given the opportunity, and hence detained him.
Soon after the news of the scam broke out, Revenue Minister RV Deshpande stated that Roshan Baig had requested officials from the Revenue Department to grant Mansoor Khan a no-objection certificate for a Rs 600 crore bailout.
Meanwhile the BJP had attacked Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for using “state machinery” to save his government.
CM @hd_kumaraswamy is using the state machinery to save his govt now. Mr. Roshan Baig was given time till 19th July to appear before SIT. This shows how the state Govt is blackmailing and treating their own MLAs’ using the institutions. pic.twitter.com/m3u09OFRkD— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) July 15, 2019
It added, “CM @hd_kumaraswamy met @rroshanbaig at Taj west end on the night of July 12th. Everything was fine until Mr Baig pledged his support to Kumaraswamy’s govt but the minute he withdrew his support opportunist @hd_kumaraswamy started using state Machineries to blackmail the MLA.”