Siddaramaiah says law is same for all on BJP MLA Harish Poonja’s arrest row

PTI, May 25, 2024, 6:26 PM IST

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said that the law is the same for everyone and wondered whether the allegations against BJP’s Harish Poonja who is facing charges for allegedly intimidating police be denied just because he is an MLA.

The chief minister said an FIR has been registered under section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code in connection with the case of alleged police intimidation by Poonja.

Reacting to the opposition’s allegation that the Congress is compelling the arrest of the BJP MLA, Siddaramaiah said that the law is the same for everyone.

”An FIR has been registered under IPC 353, which is a non-bailable offence. According to this law, there is a possibility of seven years imprisonment. Should the allegations against Harish Poonja be denied just because he is an MLA?” he told reporters here.

Responding to Poonja getting station bail, the CM said that two cases of threatening police have been registered against him and further asked that if the BJP leader could threaten the police just because he is an MLA.

In the case of bailable offences, it is binding upon the investigation officer to grant station bail.

According to police, the first case was registered against Poonja for allegedly pressurising the police to release a party worker who was arrested for illegal quarrying and the second case was filed for staging a protest in front of the Taluk office against the FIR registered against him.

On May 18, Poonja had barged into the Belthangady police station demanding Shashiraj Shetty’s release. Subsequently, he was booked under various sections of the IPC.

During the protest, Poonja had allegedly abused local police officers and the Tahsildar and ridiculed the Superintendent of Police.

On May 22 night, Poonja surrendered before the police and was questioned in connection with the cases, following high drama at his residence. Later, Poonja was released on station bail, police said.

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