BENGALURU: The High Court’s firm stand on two cases has brought relief to beleaguered policemen and bureaucrats in Karnataka.
The first case was heard last Thursday. Justice Anand Byrareddy said he would neither recuse from it nor grant relief for two IPS officers--Pronab Mohanty and AM Prasad--named as tormenters by a mid-level policeman who committed suicide.
The officers had challenged the FIR filed in Madikeri following DySP M K Ganapathy’s video statement naming them, recorded hours before his death.
Their advocate, who had argued with the judge and suggested a recusal, withdrew the petition.
In another case that came up on Tuesday, the counsel for K Marigowda, a politician who had threatened and used vile language against Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, also withdrew a petition seeking anticipatory bail.
A supporter of CM Siddaramaiah, Marigowda has remained incommunicado since his offensive behaviour became public.
Even his case came up before Justice Byrareddy after Justice B Sreenivase Gowda advised him to surrender, and recused himself.
Now, it is up to the Mysuru police to arrest 64-year-old Marigowda, a former zilla panchayat president. He has remained elusive since July 3.
With four others, Marigowda, known to have connections at the top, threatened Shikha, the top bureaucrat in Mysuru district, with dire consequences.
With four others, he abused her in filthy language and stopped her physically from her protocol duties when the chief minister was visiting the guest house in that city.
Shikha had asked Marigowda and tahsildar Naveen Joseph to leave the place, but they threatened her in the presence of a contingent of government officials.
The High Court turned down Marigowda’s plea to allow him to attend the funeral of Rakesh, Siddaramaiah’s son, on Monday. The request indicates he is not too far from the Palace City.
Spotlight on cops
The police claim they are still searching for Marigowda. “If a common citizen commits such an offence, would the police take it easy for a full month? They would have located him immediately by tracking his mobile calls,” a senior bureaucrat said.
Marigowda has signed vakalats several times, and routinely met his lawyers.
He first tried to get anticipatory bail in Mysuru, but failed. The second time, he moved the High Court. “Would you believe it? The Mysuru police say they are clueless about his whereabouts,” the bureaucrat said. Mysuru City Police Commissioner B Dayanand said his men had kept an eye out, but Marigowda had not attended the funeral of Siddaramaiah’s son. “We are doing our best to arrest him,” he told Express.
Ordering the Madikeri police to register an FIR and investigate the DySP’s suicide, judge Annapoorneshwari restored confidence in those in the police department with no political backing.
The order also heralded a big change: Bengaluru Development Minister K J George had to step down.