Shop owners exonerated in Kanakapura blast case

02:04 PM Jan 17, 2023 | PTI |

Bengaluru: Two shop owners from whose shop gelatin sticks were illegally purchased leading to the blast in Kanakapura in 2021, that killed one person, have been exonerated in the case. The High Court quashed the case against Prakash Rao M and his son P Sunil Kumar, the shop owners after finding that they were not involved in the sale and it was one of their employees who had sold the gelatin sticks without their knowledge.


Rao and Kumar approached the HC with a criminal petition which was heard by Justice K Natarajan. The two were facing a case pending in the II Additional District and Sessions Judge court at Kanakapuara. The case was registered at the Satanur police station under various Sections of the Explosive Substances Act and Explosives Act and Indian Penal Code.

A car parked in the Satanur police station limits was involved in a blast leading to the death of one person on August 16, 2021. The deceased was one Mahesh who was carrying gelatin in his car. After investigation police filed a charge sheet in which Rao and Kumar were also named as accused as they were the shop owners where the gelatin was purchased.

The two contended before the court that they were not present in the shop when the alleged sale took place. A worker in the shop, Harish Kumar, who is also one of the accused, had sold it to the deceased Mahesh. No bill was also raised by the other accused. They claimed that they had no knowledge of the sale and therefore were not responsible for the crime.

The government advocate, however, contended that these two accused were licence holders and ”they have no authority to sell to any other persons except the contractors who have obtained the contract for blasting stone in quarries.”


The HC in its judgment noted, ”Accused No.3/Harish Kumar categorically stated in the voluntary statement that in the absence of the owners, he used to sell the explosives without the knowledge of the owners and money received by him was spent on himself. The accused no.3 who is employee has categorically stated that without the knowledge of the owners, he used to sell the same through accused No.2 and spent money on themselves without accounting to the petitioners/owners. Such being the case, the question of implicating this petitioner for having violated the license cannot be accepted.”

Quashing the case against the two shop owners, the HC said, ”Any offence committed by the servant cannot be said to be vicarious liability by the owners/ employer in the criminal law. Therefore, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that conducting criminal proceedings against the petitioners is an abuse of process of law. Hence, liable to be quashed.”


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