The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed former Congress Minister Roshan Baig’s petition challenging the proceedings against him by a special court on allegations of disproportionate assets based on a complaint filed in 2012. Justice John Michael Cunha, who was hearing the petition filed by Roshan, his wife Sabiha Roshan and son Ruman Baig, contended that there were no restrictions on the special court to take cognisance of the offences Roshan Baig has been accused of.
After investigation, the Lokayukta police had earlier filed a B report (cancellation report) in January 2014 in the case, but the special court rejected this. The High Court order on Wednesday stated that the magistrate is not bound by the B report filed in 2014.
The special court investigating the case had found Rs 56.71 lakh worth of disproportionate assets held by Roshan Baig and his family members. This contradicted the B report filed in 2014, which stated that the disproportionate assets held by Roshan Baig and his family was only around 10% in excess of the income from known sources.
“As already discussed above, the magistrate is not bound by the opinion of the Investigating Officer. Since the Investigating Officer has failed to apply the correct principles of law to the facts of the case, the learned Special Judge was justified in rejecting the ‘B’ summary report and therefore, I do not find any merit or substance in the argument canvassed by learned senior counsel for the petitioners,” the order stated.
The High Court also held that prior sanction for prosecution was not necessary against Roshan since he is no longer a public servant and ceased to hold the office he had at the time of committing the offence.
Roshan Baig, a long-time Congress leader, was the MLA of the Shivajinagar constituency from 2008 to 2019. He left the Congress in 2019 around the time the BJP came to power in the state. However, unlike other Congress leaders who were inducted into the BJP, Roshan was not given a ticket to contest in the bye-elections leaving him in a fix. He was also questioned by the Special Investigation Team probing the IMA scam last year.