BENGALURU: THE High Court on Monday asked the state to come up with its response by November 21 on the representation submitted to the Chief Secretary seeking directions to remove Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi as the pontiff of Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt. While issuing this oral direction, the division bench, headed by Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee, expressed shock over Raghaveshwara Bharathi continuing as pontiff of Mutt despite facing criminal charges.
When a senior advocate, representing the petitioner, submitted that the rape charges against the Pontiff were dropped by the special court on the ground that it was a consensual sexual affair, Chief Justice Mukherjee observed ‘my conscience is shocked and kindly remove him (pontiff) if charges are proved.’
The Chief Justice also asked the government advocate to check with the Chief Secretary on how soon this matter can be disposed of.
In the representation to the Chief Secretary, the petitioners E Ishwara Bhat and others had requested to issue directions for the removal of Bharathi as pontiff, restrain him from entering Mutt premises, appointing of a high-level management committee headed by a former High Court judge and also conducting a special audit into the affairs of the Mutt.
On April 28, 2016, the division bench granted liberty to the petitioners to make a representation to the Chief Secretary, ventilating their grievances.
The Bench also directed the Chief Secretary to consider and dispose of the representation after giving an opportunity to hear all the concerned in the matter.
Appeal recommended against quashing of FIR
THE Lokayukta has decided to recommend the State Government to file an appeal against quashing of FIR against C Mrutyunjayswamy, the then Chief Engineer of National Highways, in disproportionate assets case registered by the Lokayukta police. The High Court recently quashed the FIR registered against Mruthyunjayswamy due to procedural lapses before conducting raid on his premises by the Lokayukta police in 2011. The investigation by Lokayukta police revealed that the accused had possessed up to 99 percent disproportionate assets to his known sources of income.