BENGALURU: Former Congress MLA from Hungund, Vijayanand S Kashappanavar, and another person, who were accused of assaulting two police constables at an upscale pub in UB City back in 2014, were acquitted by a city court on Thursday. Kashappanavar was named accused number two, while his associate R G Somashekar Gowda alias Somegowda was named the prime accused in a case registered at Cubbon Park police station on July 2, 2014.
Constable Kiran Kumar SC, the complainant, had alleged that he, along with another constable, Prashanth Nayak, had gone to Skyye, a bar in UB City, following a complaint that it was open beyond permissible time of 1 am. Kumar started recording a video with his mobile phone, and Kashappanavar, who was an MLA then, snatched his phone, assaulted him, and abused him using foul language. The investigation into the case was handed over to the CCB, which had submitted a charge sheet to the court against the duo. The special court for criminal cases related to elected MPs/MLAs conducted the trial in the case.
The 81st Additional City Civil & Sessions Judge, T N Inavally, in his judgment, stated that there is absolutely no documentary evidence from the prosecution to show that the constables visited the bar on that day. The court observed that the prosecution had failed miserably in proving the case and had failed to bring on record before the court the video recorded by the constable or the CCTV footage from the bar, which would have been the best evidence to prove the alleged incident. It also noted that two CDs containing CCTV footage did not read when played before the court and it was interesting that the constable’s mobile phone was seized and produced in the case.
The court also said the footage failed to prove the presence of the accused at the bar. It was also observed that there was absolutely no material to show why Kiran Kumar, being on duty on Beat No. 5, went to the spot, which falls under Beat No. 3, even though there were constables on that beat. “As per his (Kiran Kumar) evidence, and the Station House Diary, the names of the accused are mentioned but, strangely, he did not mention the names of the accused before the doctor while giving the history of assault,” the court noted.
“Except the evidence of the two constables, the evidence of other witnesses, who are police officials, are not in accordance and there are discrepancies. There are absolutely no independent witnesses forthcoming from the prosecution to prove the alleged incident, which is said to have been occurred after 1 am. The bar staff have deposed that it was closed at 11.30 pm. Moreover, failure on the part of the investigating officers creates doubt regarding the alleged incident itself,” the court said.