CD scandal: Victim moves HC questioning credibility of SIT probe

The woman connected to the alleged CD scandal case, involving the former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, has moved the High Court of Karnataka challenging the legality of the constitution of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case. She has also questioned the credibility of the investigation carried out so far.

Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty, before whom the petition came up for hearing on June 7, ordered issue of notice to the State government, the Commissioner of Police (CoP) of Bengaluru, and the SIT.

Before FIR

It has been pointed out in the petition that Mr. Jarkiholi, on March 9, 2021, wrote to the Home Minister claiming that he was a “victim of a well-hatched conspiracy...” and the Home Minister on March 10 wrote to the CoP asking him to set up an SIT to conduct a probe. The CoP, based on the Home Minister’s letter, constituted the SIT on March 11 even though no first information report (FIR) related to the allegations existed then.

Though the first FIR was registered with the Sadashivanagar police on March 13, based on Mr. Jarkiholi’s complaint against unknown persons, and another FIR was registered on March 26 based on the petitioner’s complaint against the BJP leader, the transfer of these FIRs to the SIT was illegal as no Government Order was passed either to set up the SIT or to transfer the FIRs to it, it has been contended in the petition.

The SIT set up, on the basis of the letter by the Home Minister at the behest of a letter from the rape-accused former Minister, has no legal jurisdiction to probe the FIRs, the petition claimed.

“The entire investigation is being handheld and controlled by the political bosses of the SIT and no justice or fair play can be expected under the facts and circumstances,” the petitioner has contended.

‘Not in fair manner’

Moreover, she has also alleged that the SIT is not conducting the probe in a fair manner while pointing put that the SIT has neither arrested the former Minister nor secured him through a bond besides not subjecting him to medical examination as per the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC).

It has been alleged in the petition that the SIT had selectively leaked to newspapers and television channels the contents of her statement recorded under Section 164 of the Cr.PC before the magistrate as well as the statement of the accused, and “all efforts are being made to show the petitioner in poor light and protect the accused”.

Time frame

Questioning non-completion of the probe within 60 days as per the law, the petitioner has also raised doubts on the continuation of the probe when its head, IPS officer Soumendu Mukherjee, is on leave. Referring to media reports that the SIT is preparing a final report to give “clean chit” to Mr. Jarkiholi, the petitioner said she had no reason to disbelieve media reports while alleging that manner of conduct of the investigation by the SIT was as per the “whims of its political bosses”.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 1:44:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cd-scandal-victim-moves-hc-questioning-credibility-of-sit-probe/article34773957.ece

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