BENGALURU: The High Court on Monday dismissed Ramachandrapur Mutt pontiff Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi’s writ appeal challenging the single bench order allowing CID police to continue their probe into the rape charge against him.
The court said his appeal is not maintainable and dismissed it on technical grounds.
Coming down heavily on the seer, a division bench of Justice Anand Byrareddy and Justice N Ananda said: “This is an apt example of ambiguous petitions. It has consumed much of this court’s time, at the cost of the exchequer and to the detriment of other litigants with graver concerns.” This comes as a relief to the CID.
The court said: “It would certainly warrant the appellant being mulcted (fined) with costs. However, he is said to be a man of the holy order and hence would not be expected to possess any personal wealth. The costs, if imposed, would come from the coffers of an institution which may indeed be involved with religious activity. Hence, we stop short of imposing costs.”
On the jurisdiction of the writ appeal, the bench said the single judge was justified in treating the petition under Section 482 of CrPC. A high court can exercise its powers under this section when no other remedy is available to the litigant.
The bench observed that they had come across similar instances where writ petitions were filed seeking the quashing of FIRs and the investigation. Last week, the bench had expressed apprehension that floodgates would be opened to quash all criminal proceedings if the appeal is allowed invoking Section 482 of CrPC.
The seer had challenged the order of the bench which permitted CID to probe against him for allegedly raping a singer of Ramakatha, who is also a devotee.