The Karnataka High Court on Thursday adjourned to Friday hearing of a petition seeking anticipatory bail by an advocate, K.B. Shivakumar, who is arraigned as prime accused in a complaint of alleged threat and extortion filed by Phaniraj Kashyap, son of High Court judge K. Sreedhar Rao, in connection with a property dispute.
Justice H.N. Nagamohan Das asked the State Public Prosecutor (SPP) to file objections to the petitions.
Appearing for the accused, senior counsel Ashok Haranahlli pointed out that the contents of the complaint did not disclose any offence against Mr. Shivakumar.
However, SPP S. Dore Raju contended that the accused had “used the son of the senior judge [Justice Rao] as a tool to tarnish the image of his father.”
He also contended that the accused had to first approach the jurisdictional court for anticipatory bail before knocking the doors of the High Court as per a judgement of the high court.
Mr. Dore Raju said that the police had seized hard disk from the office of the accused and sent it for forensic examination.
Meanwhile, the SPP told the court that the police have a CD of voice recording, lasting five minutes, of the accused-advocate and in the course of conversation the name of Mr. Haranahlli too crops up.
At this juncture, Mr. Haranahalli said: “Let them [police] make me as an accused. I will not succumb, will argue this case. I will not be cowed down submission. Mr. Shivakumar was one of my instructing counsel in many mining cases.”
Meanwhile, the court did not accept the plea of the SPP to play the CD stating that if necessary it will do so during an in-camera proceeding as the matter is under investigation.
Mr. Kashyap, also an advocate, had lodged a complaint against two advocates, including Mr. Shivakumar, one advocate’s clerk, Firoz, who is now in police custody, and three others.
The allegations against the accused are that they, in a proposed writ petition, had alleged that his father had “influenced” a deputy commissioner to pass some order favouring his son in connection with a property dispute. It is also alleged in the complaint that in the guise of filling petition they were blackmailing and threatening him with regard to a property, situated at Devanahalli, which he had purchased in 2005.