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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Karnataka sex-for-job CD row: Cong demands rape case against Jarkiholi, resignation of 6 ministers who got injunction

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah alleged that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the case was only probing the "conspiracy" angle.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 24, 2021 8:07:32 am
Ministers B C Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekhar, K Sudhakar, Narayan Gowda, and Byrathi Basavaraj had recently obtained an injunction. (Image: Karnataka Legislative Assembly)

With the sex-for-job CD row continuing to be a bone of contention between the ruling BJP and Opposition, Congress legislators in Karnataka Assembly have demanded the registration of a rape case against former BJP minister Ramesh Jarkiholi.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, who led the chorus of leaders demanding the same, said, “A case has to be filed against Ramesh Jarkiholi under IPC section 376 based on the complaint by the victim. Else we won’t be able to do justice to the woman.”

He added, “The victim had claimed in a video released on March 13 that Jarkiholi had mistreated her after promising to get her a job. This amounts to rape but why has the police not taken any action against Ramesh Jarkiholi?”

Siddaramaiah also alleged that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to investigate the case was only probing the “conspiracy” angle.

Responding to the charges, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the police had to ascertain the authenticity of the video before taking up the probe. “The police will file a rape case once the authenticity of the video is confirmed,” he said.

He noted that the victim was “still absconding” and claimed there were contradictions in her version and her family’s take on the episode. “SIT officers have visited six places, including Goa, Delhi, Bhopal, and Belagavi in search of her. She has to co-operate with the probe,” he said.

Unsatisfied with the reply, Siddaramaiah then demanded the issue be investigated by a committee headed by a sitting high court judge.

‘6 ministers got injunction order under fear’

Congress legislators, who were visibly upset over the investigation, also sought the resignation of six ministers who had recently obtained an injunction against the broadcast of objectionable news items against them.

The issue was raised in the Assembly by Congress leaders D K Shivakumar, H K Patil, and K R Ramesh Kumar, who alleged that the ministers’ action was motivated “by fear” and that “such acts have caused public distrust.”

While H K Patil sought the intervention by the Governor in the issue, Siddaramaiah wondered: “Why did only six of the Ministers who had stayed in a luxury hotel in Mumbai (prior to bringing down the JD(S)-Congress coalition) approach the court,” he highlighted.

However, Bommai defended their action saying, “There is conspiracy against them. The law provides for protecting themselves from such conspiracy.”

The six who got the injunction were B C Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekhar, K Sudhakar, Narayan Gowda, and Byrathi Basavaraj.

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