Karnataka Primary Education and Literacy Minister Madhu Bangrappa on Wednesday, December 27 was convicted in a cheque bounce case by the Special Court for the trial of cases filed against sitting and former MPs/MLAs. The case is connected with a cheque bounce case from 2011 and the minister has been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 6,96,70,000, failing which he has to undergo an imprisonment for six months.
Madhu Bangarappa, the director of M/s Akash Audio-Video Private Ltd. located in Kumara Park East, obtained an Inter-Corporate Deposit (unsecured borrowing) amounting to Rs 6 crore from M/s Rajesh Exports Ltd. in 2010. In July 2011, he issued a cheque for Rs 6.60 crore favouring M/s Rajesh Exports Ltd.
The cheque was dishonoured in November 2011 due to insufficient funds, leading to Rajesh Exports Ltd initiating legal action. In 2022, Madhu Bangarappa sought relief by approaching the High Court of Karnataka, requesting the quashing of legal proceedings against him. But his petition was dismissed.
During the pendency of the matter before the HC, he had made a partial payment of Rs 50 lakh to the complainant. Additionally, on December 26, 2023, he submitted an undertaking to the special court, committing to complete the full payment on or before January 30, 2024.
Before convicting the Minister for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, Judge Preeth J said that Madhu Bangarappa had tried to drag the proceedings for almost a year after the criminal petition was dismissed by the HC. He said, “From the attending circumstances, it appears that accused no. 2 (Madhu Bangarappa) is in the habit of filing undertakings before the court, but is not willing to comply with the same. At the cost of repetition, it is to be stated that accused no. 2 has not complied with the undertaking given before the high court. On the other hand, he tried to drag the proceedings for almost one year after the criminal petition was dismissed by the high court.”
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has demanded his resignation.
BJP State President BY Vijayendra said, “It’s a black mark on the dignity of the government and the sanctity of education. Bangarappa should tender his resignation, taking moral responsibility. Otherwise, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should seek his resignation,” he said.
He said that if the Congress government is arrogant and hesitates in this matter, the education sector of the state will suffer a major dent at the international level.
BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal said that one who is supposed to bring comprehensive change to the education sector, indulges in cheating and has been declared an offender. “Where will he take the education department? According to sources, he is not able to read or write Kannada,” he said.