Rejecting Sampangi’s bail application, special Lokayukta (ombudsman) Court Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao directed the police to take the BJP legislator into judicial custody and lodge him in the Parpanna Agrahara Central Jail in south-east Bangalore till investigation into bribery charges against him was completed.
The Lokayukta police caught Sampangi Jan 29, 2009, while accepting a bribe of Rs.5 lakh from the complainant, businessman Hussein Mueen Farooq, at the legislators’ home behind Vidhana Soudha (secretariat) in the city centre and booked him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Though Sampangi was on bail since then, the trial court framed charges against him early this year.
Sampangi, who represents the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) assembly segment, about 90 km from Bangalore, was accused of seeking bribe for dropping a criminal case against Farooq in a dispute over a residential site in Kolar.
The BJP, which came to power in the southern state for the first time in May 2008, suspended Sampangi after he was trapped in the bribery case, bowing to the demand of the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular.
On the insistence of the opposition parties, then state legislative assembly speaker Jagdish Shettar set up a special house committee to inquire into the graft charges against Sampangi.
The house panel, however, dismissed the bribery charges against the lawmaker and recommended action against the complainant businessman for ‘tarnishing’ his image by making false allegations.
Sampangi is the fifth BJP lawmaker to be jailed after the party’s scam-hit former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his cabinet ministers Krishnaiah Shetty, Gali Janardhana Reddy and Katta Subramanya Naidu were sent to jail in various land and graft cases in the recent past.