BENGALURU: A City Civil and Sessions Court has rejected the bail application of 38-year-old Santhosh Rao, who allegedly raped and murdered a 17-year-old student near Dharmasthala in 2012. He was arrested after the incident led to a furore.
Dismissing the bail, City Civil and Sessions Court judge Vineetha P Shetty said, “Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, gravity of the offences and the social impact on the offence, I am of the view that it is not proper for this court to extend the benefit of bail to the accused, ignoring the entire investigation.”
The judge noted that it is seen that the victim was murdered after raping her and sufficient material has been placed by the CBI indicating prima-facie case against the accused. Though it is contended that the accused is suffering from mental ill-health, no medical document has been produced, the judge said.
The accused Santhosh Rao (38) of Kukkundur village in Karkala taluk of Udupi district, is in judicial custody from more than three years after he was arrested on October 11, 2012.
Case handed over to CBI
Chandappa Gowda, the girl’s father, had lodged a complaint at Belthangadi police station on October 9, 2012, that his daughter Soujanya was missing. She was found raped and murdered at Pangala near Dharmasthala on October 9, 2012, on her return from the college in a bus.
The case was handed over to CBI after strong protest from the public expressing apprehension that the state was protecting the real culprits. Now the case has been transferred to ACMM Court in Bengaluru.