The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail petition of Surendra Babu, who is facing the charge of murdering his actress-wife Hemashree.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that Babu wanted to improve his marital life and that was why he took Hemashree to Andhra Pradesh. Babu had no intention to kill her, the counsel said. Justice K. Sreedhar Rao, however, rejected the plea as it did not make a ground for releasing the accused on bail.

Shifting of KAT

The court directed the State government to inform by April first week its decision on shifting the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) from Indiranagar BDA Complex to the newly built Kandaya Bhavan on Kempe Gowda Road.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by city-based advocate N.P. Amruthesh. He had complained that the government was dilly-dallying on shifting the tribunal even after space was allocated for it in the Kandaya Bhavan.

The government counsel, however, informed the Bench that interior decoration of the building at the Kandaya Bhavan was in progress.

Domestic violence Act

The court ordered issue of notice to both the State and Union governments on a petition questioning constitutional validity of some provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Justice S. Abdul Nazeer passed the order on a petition filed by C.H. Venkatakrishna, a resident of Kasaragod in Kerala. He filed the petition after his wife Lakshmi Bhat, an actress and resident of Bangalore, allegedly misused the provisions of the Act and a trial court in Bangalore granted certain order in her favour.

With a series of cases pending between the couple, the petitioner claimed that many provisions of the Act had “gender bias” as certain sections treat men as the sole cause of domestic violence. The petitioner also claimed that some of the provisions of the Act gave protection only to women and not “abuses” by the wife. The provisions under challenge are Sections 12, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27 and 28 that are mainly related the right to reside in shared household property, custody of children, monetary relief, compensation, etc.