New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the order of Karnataka High Court granting bail to four persons accused of using the offices of state Lokayukta to carry out extortion activities.
A bench comprising justices P C Ghose and Amitava Roy set aside the order and observed that since charge sheet has been filed in the case, accused are at liberty to move the trial court for grant of regular bail.
"The High Court order is set aside and liberty granted to the accused persons to move to trial court for regular bail. The trial court without taking into account any observations made in the present case by the court shall look into the matter," the bench said.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanian appearing for some of the accused said since the charge sheet has now been filed in the case, they be allowed to move to trial court seeking bail.
The apex court had on 16 September 2015 stayed the execution of the order of the Karnataka High Court granting bail to the accused.
The four accused includes former state Lokayukta Public Relations Officer Syed Riyazatullah, who was granted bail on 8 September by the High Court. Karnataka Special Investigation Team (SIT) which is investigating the case had moved the apex court seeking cancellation of bail.
The SIT had filed charge sheet against six persons, including former Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao's son Ashwin Rao alias Ashwin Yarabatti.
The charge sheet was filed in an extortion case registered by the SIT on the basis of a complaint lodged by government engineer M N Krishnamurthy, who had alleged that he was asked to pay Rs one crore by the accused persons to prevent a raid on him by the Lokayukta police.
According to the chargesheet, Syed Riyazatullah, who was suspended from his post of PRO of Lokayukta soon after his arrest, is the main accused while a mediator Ashok Kumar is the second accused and Ashwin Rao is the third.
Other accused includes V Bhaskar, Shankare Gowda and Srinivasa Gowda.