A criminal complaint brought against two attorneys who are office holders for the Congress in the Nelamangala unit of Bengaluru Rural district was dismissed by the High Court of Karnataka on the grounds that they had allegedly asked someone to put “PayCM” flyers in Nelamangala town’s public spaces. The applications submitted by Ramakrishna V., president of the Congress’ Legal Cell of the Nelamangala constituency, and Narayana Gowda J.S., president of the Indian Youth Congress unit of the Nelamangala Assembly seat, were accepted by Justice M. Nagaprasanna, who also issued the decision.
“Anyone who intentionally causes wrongful harm to members of the public or to any individual, or who destroys property, is guilty of mischief. The Court elaborated: “If they haven’t engaged in any behaviour that would be considered an offence under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act,” The petitioners had questioned the crime’s registration, arguing that none of the applicable statutes—the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, the Karnataka Open Place Disfigurement Act, or Section 290 of the Indian Penal Code—were invoked, and that the proceedings should therefore be thrown out.
In accordance with the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act of 1984, the Karnataka Open Place Disfigurement Act, and Section 290 (public nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code, the police had filed a complaint against six people, including the petitioners. The petitioners stated that in an effort to raise awareness about the widespread corruption and bribery, three people—Varun Kumar LN, Krishna Pawar, and C Ashok Kumar—had plastered posters with the Chief Minister’s photo and a QR code at numerous locations throughout Nelamangala. The pasting of these posters, which stated, “Scan this QR code to expose government corruption,” amounted to defacing and vandalising public property, according to a report made by assistant sub-inspector KR Narayan Rao.
The applicants were accused of the crime of doing mischief by harming public property as a result of this complaint. The petitioners were accused of speaking to four other accused individuals on the phone and giving them instructions to put up posters around the area as part of the party’s “PayCM” campaign. According to the police, the other defendants testified that they attached the posters at the petitioners’ request. The court said the dismissal of the case against them would not bind or affect the investigation into any additional accused parties.