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Former MLA Accused of Contesting on False Caste Certificate Faces Action from Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court has accused G. Manjunatha, a former MLA representing the Mulbagal constituency, of “stealing constituency” by contesting the 2013 elections based on a false caste certificate, depriving a genuinely eligible Scheduled Caste candidate. Justice M. Nagaprasanna dismissed Manjunatha’s petition and left it to state authorities to take legal action against him, emphasizing that his actions bordered on “fraud on the Constitution.”

The District Caste Verification Committee’s report, stating that Manjunatha belongs to the Byragi caste (Other Backward Classes) rather than the claimed Budaga Jangama caste (SC), was deemed valid by the High Court.

Manjunatha’s election in 2018 was earlier set aside for failing to establish his caste claim, and the recent verification found discrepancies, including misuse of official machinery for obtaining a caste certificate. The court’s decision underscores the gravity of false caste claims in electoral processes and the imperative for legal consequences.