BENGALURU: Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah cornered the government in the Assembly on Monday, demanding that a rape case under Section 376 be registered against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, who recently quit the ministry over the CD controversy.
Speaking during an adjournment motion, Siddaramaiah said that an independent agency monitored by the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice should investigate the case. He felt that the Special Investigation Team constituted by the State Government is focussing only on the alleged conspiracy against Ramesh.
The Congress Legislature Leader said that the police have committed serious lapses in tracing the woman seen in the video. “She mentions in the video that Ramesh utilised her, promising her a government job. When she says she has been used, it means that it was not a consensual act. I demand that a rape case under Section 376 of the IPC be registered against Ramesh...
Otherwise, we can’t do justice to the woman. It is unfortunate that the government is distinguishing between the complaints of the woman and Ramesh Jarkiholi,” he said, and added that the police officers who failed to register a case too should face action.Replying to Siddaramaiah’s charges, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the police are verifying the authenticity of the sleaze CD, and a case under Section 376 will be registered only if there is sufficient ground.
Bommai told the Assembly that as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, if any information is forwarded on social media or messaging platforms, the sender has to be traced and the authenticity of the material has to be established. “We are now verifying the video. Only if it is proved authentic can we register a case under Section 376. We have followed all procedures. The victim too has to cooperate,’’ he said.
He said that five teams with 22 officers are working on the case and the statements of 11 people have been recorded. “The bank accounts of the suspects are being checked. The police team went to Belagavi, Goa, Delhi and even Bhopal in search of the woman seen in the CD. She is on the run. There is a contradiction between her video statement and her father’s statement. The SIT is probing the case from all angles and have even questioned Ramesh Jarkiholi. Three cases were registered at various places and they have now been transferred to the Special Investigation Team. None of those involved will be spared,’’ he said.
Unhappy with his reply, Congress members came to the Well of the House demanding that a case be registered under Section 376 of IPC. Questioning the constitution of Special Investigation Team, they said that the probe should be conducted by an independent agency. They also demanded the resignation of six ministers, who got a court injunction against publishing any defamatory material against them in the media. Siddaramaiah had earlier said, “When they take oath as ministers, they vow to work without any fear. If they are not involved in any wrongdoing, why did they approach the court? They should resign immediately. Till they get a clean chit, they cannot sit in the Assembly.”
Meanwhile, KPCC president DK Shivakumar said, “Ramesh Jarkiholi says Yogeshwar spent `9 crore to help BJP form the government in the state. Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy says crores of money was spent on the CD. The Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax departments should look at these issues also.’’
Opposition moves adjournment motion in Legislative Council
Bengaluru: Leader of the Opposition in the Council SR Patil on Monday moved an adjournment notice demanding a discussion on the CD-gate controversy and six ministers seeking an injunction from the court, on Monday. “The state’s image has been dented. Every day, the media has been coming out with sensational news and it is affecting women, children and youth. An SIT was constituted even before the FIR was registered.
Later, the FIR was registered based on a complaint sent through a person by the former minister. But no FIR was registered based on the complaint filed by a person claiming to be a social activist or based on the video released on social media by the woman survivor,” he said. “The parents of the survivor too have filed a complaint at a police station in Belagavi.
Though the women’s commission has ordered the police to provide security to the survivor, she has not been traced and given protection. The SIT probe raises suspicion that it is trying to search those responsible for publicising the CD. There is no transparency in the way the government is handling the issue,” he alleged. Council Chairman Horatti said he will allow a discussion after deciding the date.