BENGALURU: The High Court on Thursday rejected the writ petition filed by Karthik Gowda, son of Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, seeking to quash the criminal complaint, FIR and proceedings initiated against him based on a rape and cheating complaint filed by actor Maithriya Gowda.
This has come as a major setback to Karthik, who had approached the court under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code in connection with a case registered in R T Nagar police station and pending before the 8th ACMM Court. In the complaint, 28-year-old Maithriya Gowda claims that she had married Karthik on June 5, 2014, after meeting him on May 8. She has accused Karthik of deserting her later as his family did not accept their relationship. She filed a case at R T Nagar police station after news channels aired the news of Karthik’s engagement with another woman.
Pronouncing the judgment on Thursday, Justice R B Budihal said, “When serious allegations are made for the alleged offence under Section 376 and 420 of the IPC... I am of the opinion that it is not a case to invoke Section 482 of the CrPC and quash the proceedings.”
“The contentions of the senior counsel that the complaint and FIR averments will not make a prima facie case cannot be accepted and hence, I am of the opinion that the petitioner has not made a case to allow the petition and quash the proceedings,” he stated. Criminal proceedings can now continue against Karthik.
New Bench Starts Hearing Seer Case
The newly constituted division bench of the High Court has started the hearing on an appeal filed by Ramachandrapur Mutt head Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami in connection with a rape case.
In his argument before the bench comprising Justice Anand Byrareddy and Justice N Ananda, senior counsel B V Acharya, representing the swami, said there is an attempt to tarnish the image of the swami.
Raghaveshwara Bharathi, who is facing charges of raping a devotee, has challenged a single bench order which permitted the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to continue the probe against him. Four judges had earlier rescued themselves from hearing the appeal.
Referring to the statement of the victim that she was raped 168 times by the seer in three years, Acharya said the law can be misused to harass people in the public domain as a rape charge is difficult to disprove.
Reading out the statement of the complainant, Acharya, who is a former advocate general, argued that the rape complaint was registered as the swami did not give a ‘ransom’ of `3 crore demanded by the woman’s husband. A case was filed on this by the mutt’s secretary on August 26, 2014. But the investigating agency has seized the draft of the complaint and mobile phone containing the details of conspiracy, he claimed.
“The woman claimed that she was raped in Jodhpur, Mangaluru and Bengaluru while she went to perform at mutt programmes. But she voluntarily met the swami in the branch of the mutt at Girinagar in Bengaluru where she was allegedly raped, after she took a six-month break. If she was really wanted to stay away from the mutt, why did she visit again?” Acharya asked.
The bench adjourned the hearing to Friday, but observed that the proceedings will be conducted in camera if the media gives the issue “unpleasant publicity”.
Notice Issued to Petroleum Ministry
The High Court sent a notice to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and oil companies such as HPCL, BPCL, ONGC and Indian Oil Corporation, in connection with a public interest petition seeking directions to regulate the prices of LPG, petrol, diesel and kerosene.
The petitioner had appealed to the court to issue directions to regulate the market price of the commodities as per the Essential Commodities Act of 1995.
Plea Challenging Appointment of Law Panel Chief Dismissed
The High Court on Thursday dismissed a writ petition challenging the appointment of Justice S R Nayak as Karnataka Law Commission chairman.
After hearing a petition filed by H M Farooq, who claims to be an anti-corruption crusader, a division bench comprising Justice K L Manjunath and Justice S Sujatha dismissed the plea as Justice Nayak has not been employed under the state government as contended by the petitioner.
Earlier, Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar argued that Section 24(3) of the Human Rights Act was not applicable to the appointment of Justice Nayak to the Law Commission, which was established by issuing a notification on January 12, 2009.
“The chairman is not an employee and his tenure is five years. The commission was created for the benefit of the state. There is a difference between employment and employee,” he said.
“Though Justice Nayak served as chairman of the State Human Rights Commission, he is eligible to become the Law Commission chairman as the chairman is an independent person and the state has no control over him,” he argued.