SIT did not record woman’s statement even four to five days after she was rescued: Special Court  

‘No prima facie ingredient to invoke offence of kidnap for ransom and threat to cause death against Revanna’

Updated - May 15, 2024 09:10 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2024 08:46 pm IST - Bengaluru

Former Minister H.D. Revanna after he was released from jail in Bengaluru.

Former Minister H.D. Revanna after he was released from jail in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Special Court of Session for criminal cases related to MPs and MLAs has said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Criminal Investigation Department had delayed recording the statement of the victim by four to five days after she was rescued in the alleged abduction case registered against former Minister H.D. Revanna.

Interestingly, the special court also said that prima facie there is no material to justify the rigorous Section 364-A (Kidnapping for ransom and threat to cause death or hurt, etc.,) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) invoked against Mr. Revanna in terms of the Supreme Court’s interpretation of this provision.

However, the special court said that the ingredients of Section 362 (whoever by force compels, or by any deceitful means induces, any person to go from any place, is said to abduct that person) of the IPC, at best, could be pressed against him.

Santhosh Gajanan Bhat, judge of the special court, made these observations, which are limited for considering whether the accused was entitled for bail, in his May 13 order of allowing the bail plea of Mr. Revanna, who has been arraigned as Accused number 1.

Noticing from the SIT’s records that though the victim was rescued on May 4 and Mr. Revanna was in the SIT’s custody between May 5 and 8, the court pointed out that the SIT did not record her statement even under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrpC) for four to five days.

The statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, which should have been recorded immediately, was not recorded before the magistrate even on May 8, the day on which the SIT requested the magistrate court to send Mr. Revanna to judicial custody, the court noted.

“ materials have been produced to indicate that the investigating agency had in fact recorded the statement of the victim immediately after securing her. The aforesaid delay would clearly cast a serious aspersion with respect to existence of prima facie case,” the court observed.

Though it has been argued that the entire incident had taken place only to shield the petitioner’s son [Hassan Lok Sabha member Prajwal Revanna], who is accused of committing sexual assault on the victim, no materials have been found that Mr. Revanna had indeed acted to shield his son, the court said.

Apart from a stray allegation in the complaint that the Accused number 2 (Satish Babu) had insisted, at the behest of Mr. Revanna, the victim should accompany him, no materials are forthcoming, the court said.

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