Murugha Mutt case: Lookout notice issued against seer as ‘precautionary measure’

Bail plea of Murugha Sharanaru to be heard on September 2; mutt’s administrator dismissed

September 01, 2022 08:28 pm | Updated 10:23 pm IST - HUBBALLI

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru. File

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A lookout notice has already been issued against seer of Brihan Mutt Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, who is facing charges of sexual harassment of two minor girls, as a precautionary measure.

Superintendent of Police of Chitradruga K. Parashuram told The Hindu that the notice was issued on August 29 itself after reports about the seer not being found in the mutt emerged. “As the seer holds a passport, the lookout notice was issued as a precautionary measure,” he said. The seer subsequently returned to the mutt.

On Thursday, the hearing on seer’s anticipatory bail petition was adjourned to Friday. Meanwhile, the administrator of the mutt S.K. Basavarajan and his wife Soubhaya were granted bail in the counter-case pertaining to alleged harassment and “kidnap of children” filed by warden of the hostel run by the mutt.

Removed from post

In a related development, Mr. Basavarajan has been removed from the post and also from the post of secretary of SJM Vidyapeetha. Mr. Basavarajan, a former MLA, has been accused of “conspiring against the mutt” to defame the head of the mutt and violating the conditions imposed on him earlier, according to a press release from the mutt.

Mr. Basavarajan who was removed from the administrator’s post in 2007, was reappointed on March 7 this year. “As per the demand of leaders of Veerashaiva-Lingayat and other communities, Mr. Basavarajan was reappointed on March 7, 2022. He was taken back with several conditions, including amicably resolving legal disputes between him and the mutt,” a release from the mutt said, adding that he had violated the conditions. It also accused Mr. Basavarajan of remaining absent from his duties for the past one month without informing the mutt. So his services had been terminated with effect from August 26, 2022, the release said.

Adjourned

On Thursday, the hearing on anticipatory bail plea of Murugha Sharanaru who has been booked under POCSO Act and SC/ST(Prevention of Atrocities) Act was adjourned till Friday allowing a day’s time to the prosecution and victims’ counsels to submit their objections.

Counsel for Murugha Sharanaru had moved the anticipatory bail application on August 29 before Second Additional District and Sessions Court. However, as judge B.K. Komala was on leave, First Additional District and Sessions judge Kalkani had admitted the plea and had posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.

The two minor girls, victims of alleged sexual harassment, and their parents appeared before the court. Advocates of District Legal Service Authority and also High Court advocate Srinivas appeared before the court on behalf of the minor girls. The judge sought the opinion of the girls and their fathers and subsequently considered the application moved by Mr. Srinivas.

The counsel for the girls argued that as the notices had been served to them on Thursday, they should be given time to submit their objections. The judge allowed their submission and adjourned the hearing to Friday giving them time for filing objections.

With the anticipatory bail application scheduled for hearing, the district police had made elaborate security arrangements around the district court complex on Thursday as a precautionary measure.

Arrest sought

Meanwhile, members of Bharatiya Dalit Sangharsha Samiti stopped the car of Deputy Commissioner of Chitradurga Kavita S. Mannikeri near the office seeking immediate arrest of Murugha Sharanaru.

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