CD scandal: Victim tells court she is safe and not detained illegally

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The woman victim connected to the alleged CD scandal involving former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi on Monday appeared before the Dharwad Bench of the Karnataka High Court through videoconference, and told the court that she is safe in Bengaluru and no one has detained her illegally. She said she is not ready to visit her parents as of now.

Earlier, a Division Bench comprising Justice Krishna S. Dixit and Justice Pradeep Sing Yerur directed in charge Registrar-General of the High Court T.G. Shivashankare Gowda to visit the residence of the woman in Bengaluru city to ascertain her safety while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by her father. The father had alleged that she was under illegal detention of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) or some advocates while seeking a direction to the authorities to rescue her.

After Special Public Prosecutor for SIT, P. Prasanna Kumar, clarified to the Bench that the SIT had not detained her, the Bench in the morning session directed Mr. Gowda to visit her place after ascertaining the address with the SIT.

In the afternoon session, Mr. Gowda joined the hearing of the petition through videoconference from the place of the victim and briefed the Bench about her safety. The Bench enquired whether she was under illegal detention and whether she would like to meet her parents.

She replied that she was not facing threat, was safe at her residence, and would meet her parents at an appropriate time. The Bench recorded her statement, both in its order and by enabling recording mode in zoom meeting, and disposed of the petition as woman had personally clarified.

PIL petitions

Meanwhile, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj on Monday directed the SIT to ascertain whether a letter, sent by to the court through email on May 19, 2021, was written by the same woman who had lodged the complaint against Mr. Jarkiholi. The SIT was also directed to give its response to the letter, a copy of which was ordered to be supplied to the SIT in a sealed cover.

After going through the status reports, the Bench said that reports to be submitted by the SIT will have to vetted by its head.

Earlier, the Advocate-General said SIT had filed a “B” report in the abduction case registered based on the complaint of the woman’s father and investigations were underway in two other criminal cases related to the CD scandal.

The Bench also permitted the advocate representing Mr. Jarkiholi to file objection raising the question of locus standi of petitioners, who are not connected with the criminal cases.

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