Power TV head gets anticipatory bail

Case was registered after channel aired programme against CM’s family members

November 20, 2020 11:56 pm | Updated 11:56 pm IST - Bengaluru

Bengaluru / Karnataka : 19/08/2020 :  A view of High Court of Karnataka  on 19 August 2020.  Photo : V Sreenivasa  Murthy/The Hindu.

Bengaluru / Karnataka : 19/08/2020 : A view of High Court of Karnataka on 19 August 2020. Photo : V Sreenivasa  Murthy/The Hindu.

The Karnataka High Court has granted anticipatory bail to Rakesh Shetty, managing director of Power TV news channel, in a criminal case that was registered against him by a civil contractor after the channel telecast a series of programme “exposing alleged corruption” involving family members of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

Justice B.A. Patil passed the order while allowing Mr. Shetty’s petition on the condition that he should surrender before the investigating officer within 20 days and should cooperate with the investigation as and when required.

While citing various decisions of the apex court on proposition of law for grant of bail, the High Court also referred to the recent decision in Arnab Manoranjan Goswami Vs. The State of Maharashtra & Others. The case against the petitioner was registered on a complaint lodged by Chandrakanth Ramalingam, Director of Ramalingam Construction Company Pvt. Ltd., whose communications with the family members of the Chief Minister was telecast by the channel beginning September 2. The case against the channel’s head was registered on September 24.

Apart from furnishing a bond for ₹2 lakh with two sureties of like sum to the satisfaction of the investigation officer, the petitioner has also been directed not to tamper with the investigation. While referring to allegations made by the complainant and counter-allegations by the petitioner, the court said it was to not only keep in mind the antecedents of accused persons while granting anticipatory bail but also the need to weigh the antecedents of complainant.

Observing that the complainant, Mr. Ramalingam, has also “not come up with clean hands and it appears that all is not well”, the court expressed doubt over his claim that he was tutored by the petitioner considering the complainant’s position as a director of a big construction company.

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