ILNS: As the Karnataka High Court rejected the bail petition of an astrologer, a basketful of dirty laundry came tumbling out.
The astrologer was in jail for having allegedly taken a bribe and for trying to influence politicians to get a former High Court judge a Governor post. The court said the alleged attempt to pay a “bribe to the petitioner for securing the post of Governor” has lowered the prestige of judges and the image of the Governor’s post.
Astrologer Yuvaraj Swami was arrested in December 2020 by Bengaluru police. The former High Court judge, Justice B S Indrakala, filed a police complaint for being cheated by Yuvaraj Swami. The retired High Court judge had allegedly paid the astrologer Rs 8.5 crore through RTGS and cash after Yuvaraj took the retired judge to meet top political leaders in 2018-19 who convinced her to make payments.
“It is also most unfortunate that a former judge of the high court has paid a bribe to the petitioner for securing the post of Governor, which act of the complainant not only lowered the prestige of a judge (but) also affects the image of the Governor’s post,” said Justice K. Natarajan while denying bail to Yuvaraj Swami.
The High Court called it unfortunate that the state has not chosen to file any application for cancellation of bail granted by the magistrate and pulled up the magistrate’s court in Bengaluru for granting bail to Yuvaraj in the case filed by the retired HC judge.
The High Court has rejected bail pleas filed by Yuvaraj Swami in six cases of cheating — other than the one involving the former HC judge. The court observed that “the petitioner is notorious and having so much influence with political parties” that he can cheat people “under the guise of providing posts in government organisations, and that too, to the level of assuring the post of Governor.”
Yuvaraj Swami has sought bail in the six cases by referring the example of the IMA Group Ponzi scheme founder Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who is accused of swindling thousands of investors to the tune of nearly Rs 4,000 crore but was granted bail by the High Court.
The Court stated that the cases against Yuvaraj Swami are not comparable to the Ponzi scheme case, where an administrator has been appointed to recover the funds of investors by seizing properties and investment of Mohammed Mansoor Khan.