HC rejects Rudresh murder accused’s plea

HC rejects Rudresh murder accused’s plea

The High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Asim Sheriff, the fifth accused in the murder of RSS worker Rudresh.

Justice N K Sudhindrarao dismissed Sheriff’s plea, asking the court to relieve him of the charges framed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The court concluded the hearing on the petition on August 1 and reserved the judgement.

The court had earlier rejected an appeal by Sheriff and other accused, challenging the dismissal of his discharge application by the NIA special court.

Sheriff’s counsel argued in the last hearing that he was not present at the spot during Rudresh’s murder. The counsel also said the Popular Front of India (PFI), to which Sheriff is affiliated to, is not a banned organisation. The counsel stated that he had been falsely accused as it was a politically motivated case.

NIA’s counsel countered this argument, saying Sheriff’s plea for discharge has already been rejected by the NIA court. It further stated that Rudresh had no personal enmity with Sheriff and was killed purely for his leadership quality and his affiliation to a particular organisation. The probe agency also justified invoking the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, saying Sheriff had accepted he was a PFI member.

Rudresh was murdered in broad daylight by motorbike-borne men at Kamaraja Road in Shivajinagar on October 16, 2016. The NIA took over the probe and arrested Sheriff and four others for their involvement in the murder case.