NEW DELHI/ BENGALURU: More than a year after the death of Deputy Superintendent of Police M K Ganapathy, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered a CBI probe and directed it to finish the investigation in three months time. A bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit asked the CBI to investigate the case and said, “There are certain startling facts in the case. Whether it is murder or suicide, it is required to be investigated in a fair manner.”Ganapathy was found dead in a lodge in Kodagu hours after he gave an interview to a television channel accusing Bengaluru Development Minister K J George and other senior officers A M Prasad and Pranab Mohanty of harassment.
At the time of the incident, George was the state’s Home Minister and subsequently resigned but he was re-inducted and now holds Bengaluru Development portfolio while Prasad and Mohanty were transferred. Prasad is now DGP Intelligence and Mohanty is on central deputation with UIDAI.The court verdict comes as a major setback for the Siddaramaiah government that had earlier rejected demands for a CBI probe and had also re-inducted George as minister soon after CID gave him a clean chit by filing B report in the local court. Now, after the apex court’s direction, the BJP is demanding George’s resignation and threatening to launch a statewide agitation if the Chief Minsiter fails to drop the minister within two days.
The Supreme court passed the order on Ganapathy’s father M K Kushalappa’s plea for a CBI probe after Karnataka CID had given a clean chit to George. “We are not determining the nature of the offence or who is guilty. But public confidence and societal requirement demand that the guilty persons must be reached,” the bench added.
The bench said, “A Deputy SP rank officer accused the Home Minister and two high-ranking officers of harassment and if due to this disclosure, anything happened to him, only they will be held responsible. The investigation must be carried out by an independent agency.”Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karnataka government, contended that handing over the matter to CBI would have repercussions. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, who appeared for George, also informed the bench that the deceased suffered from depression and had undergone treatment, and denied the charges made by the officer.
However, senior advocate Jayant Bhushan appearing for Kushalappa, submitted that the CID filed a closure report even without awaiting the forensic report. “When the deceased named the former Home Minister and two senior officers, the investigation cannot be done by the state agency,” Bhushan told the bench. A judicial probe by former High Court judge Justice Keshavanarayan was also ordered, whose report is still awaited.
POLITICS OF A SUICIDE
July 7: DySP M K Ganapathy found hanging in a lodge
July 9: State hands over case to CID
July 18: Sessions court in Madikeri orders police to file an FIR against senior IPS officers and K J George. Hours later, George resigns.
Sept 17: CID files a B report, closes the case
Sept 26: George sworn in
Sept 5, 2017: Supreme Court orders CBI probe into Ganapathy’s death