Karnataka HC asks trial court to defer proceedings against seer
The accused seer had filed the petitions seeking quashing of the order for framing of charges by the trial court under POCSO Act.
BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered the trial court in Chitradurga to defer proceedings against Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, former pontiff of Sri Murugha Mutt of Chitradurga, for three weeks, or till July 1, whichever is earlier.
Justice M Nagaprasanna also issued notice to the state government on two separate pleas filed by the seer questioning the criminal proceedings initiated against him in a case for allegedly sexually assaulting minor girls.
After hearing arguments over the framing of charges against the accused pontiff by the trial court, the judge clarified that the hold on the trial should not be construed as a stay. The hearing was adjourned to June 21.
The accused seer had filed the petitions seeking quashing of the order for framing of charges by the trial court under POCSO Act, the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Religious Institution of Prevention of Misuse Act and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
The seer’s counsel argued that the material on record do not establish any of the offences as alleged against the petitioner. Thus, the charges framed by the trial court are liable to be set aside. “It is evident from the final report that there is no material evidence to show that the petitioner committed the offence against a member of the SC community,” the counsel argued.