Prajwal Revanna booked for rape; lookout circular issued against him

He had already been booked for sexual harassment on the basis of one woman’s complaints; Karnataka government appeals to all victims to come forward, asks PM to cancel Hassan MP’s diplomatic passport

May 03, 2024 12:04 am | Updated 12:31 pm IST - BENGALURU/KALABURGI/NEW DELHI

The Karnataka police booked Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna on rape charges on Thursday.

The Karnataka police booked Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna on rape charges on Thursday. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Karnataka police booked Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna on rape charges on Thursday, and have issued a lookout circular against the “absconding” MP a day after he failed to appear before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that is probing his alleged sexual crimes.

His father and former Minister H.D. Revanna, who also skipped the SIT summons on Thursday, approached the special court seeking anticipatory bail.

Watch | Prajwal Revanna sex scandal: all you need to know

The charges against the grandson of former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda were filed after a second woman filed a complaint that she was “coerced to have sexual relationship” with him. Based on the complaint, Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, that deals with rape, has been invoked against the MP. He has previously been booked for sexual harassment on the basis of another woman’s complaint on April 28. His father has also been named in the first charge.

Appeal to victims

Earlier in the day, Karnataka Home Minister G. Parameshwara said that a second victim had come forward and lodged a complaint against Mr. Prajwal Revanna. The Home Minister also appealed to other victims, especially those who were allegedly featured in explicit videos which are being circulated through social media, to come forward and make statements before the SIT. He promised that the government would provide safety, protect their identity, and ensure justice.

Replying to a question, Mr. Parameshwara said, “The government will not protect the accused and the investigation will be conducted on the basis of evidence collected through the fact findings.”

All immigration points

The look-out circular has been issued for all immigration points which would mean that Mr. Prajwal Revanna will be detained as soon as he reports at any of the immigration points at airports, sea ports, or at border checkposts. The MP is believed to have left the country using his diplomatic passport on April 27, a day after the elections. He is now believed to be in Munich, in Germany.

SIT sources said that his return ticket has been booked for May 15. An advocate claiming to represent the Hassan MP had sought seven days’ time for his client to present himself before the SIT. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has already urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel his diplomatic passport and bring him back to “face the full force of law.” 

No political clearance sought: MEA

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman A. Randhir Jaiswal has said that they were not approached for “political clearance”; nor did the Ministry issue any clearance for enabling foreign travel by Prajwal Revanna.

“No political clearance was either sought from or issued by MEA in respect of the travel of the said MP to Germany. Obviously, no visa note was issued either. No visa is required for diplomatic passport holders to travel to Germany. The Ministry has not issued visa note for any other country,” said Mr. Jaiswal.

The SIT has been set up to probe accusations regarding hundreds of explicit videos allegedly depicting multiple women who were sexually exploited by Mr. Ravenna. The Hassan MP has now been suspended by the Janata Dal (Secular), which he represents in the Parliament. He is seeking re-election from Hassan Lok Sabha constituency where he is pitted against Congress nominee Shreyas Patel.

Revanna moves court

Meanwhile, Mr. Revanna senior, the Holenarasipura MLA, moved a special court in Bengaluru seeking anticipatory bail as the SIT has invoked sexual harassment charges in the case lodged against him and his MP son, filed by his former maid at the Holenarasipura police station. The special court, after asking the Special Public Prosecutor B.N. Jagadeesha to accept the notice and file any objection to the plea for anticipatory bail, adjourned the hearing till Friday.

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