September 3, 2021 6:25:06 pm
The Karnataka High Court Friday extended a stay on the filing of final reports by a Special Investigation Team of the Bengaluru Police in connection with an alleged sex CD of former BJP minister Ramesh Jarkiholi.
Adjourning the hearing as the senior counsel of the woman involved in the case was unwell, the bench led by acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma said interim orders issued earlier would continue.
The high court had on July 27 restrained the SIT from filing final reports on its investigations into allegations of rape made against the MLA and a parallel probe into counter allegations of extortion raised against the woman by the BJP leader. The woman had approached the high court seeking to quash the SIT’s investigation.
During Friday’s hearing, state Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi argued that the SIT had not filed reports in the case despite investigations being completed, on account of the matter being supervised by the high court. The AG said investigations into the separate FIRs had been carried out by officers appointed by the Bengaluru police commissioner.
Citing norms laid down by the Supreme Court in the Abhinandan Jha case of 1967, the AG said that once investigations are completed the reports must be filed before the concerned court. The high court was approached against the SIT investigation only after media reports indicated the findings of the probe, Navadgi said, adding that the petitioner had earlier participated in the SIT probe and had not opposed it.
The MLA was forced to resign from the post of water resources minister on March 3 this year, a day after the controversial video clips emerged. Jarkiholi initially claimed the CD was fake, but later in his statement to the SIT said that he was blackmailed by a gang.
On July 19, the SIT had presented a progress report on the probe to the high court. Earlier the court had raised questions on how the SIT could have completed the investigation when its head had been on leave for nearly three months during the probe. Navadgi said a team of officers had conducted the probe and the investigation had not been vitiated by the SIT chief’s absence.
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