Charge sheet against Halappa this week

Official sources said the CID will file the chargesheet under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, in the Shimoga JMFC court. The Karnataka High Court has set the CID March 31 as deadline for completing its investigation.

The charge

Chandravati, wife of Venkatesha Murthy of Shimoga, a friend of Halappa, complained to police that she was raped by the former minister in November 2009.

Halappa had vehemently denied the charge. Murthy had released a couple of CDs that carried images of Halappa along with Chandravati in a bedroom.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had referred the case to the CID. Halappa was arrested by the CID police in May last year in Shimoga on the charges of rape and criminal intimidation. On May 2, he was forced to resign as minister.

The CID had collected the clothes worn by the victim and Halappa at the time of the alleged crime. Forensic examination confirmed that the stained garments had traces of his semen.

The State Human Rights Commission had moved the High Court seeking a CBI probe into the case.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice A S Bopanna directed the CID to complete the investigation by March 31. It had also asked DIG Charan Reddy to personally supervise the investigation.

But when the investigation was reaching the final stages, the State government transferred both the CID chief D V Guruprasad and Charan Reddy.

However, the investigation officer recommended filing a charge sheet against Halappa.

There is speculation that the Murthy couple may not pursue the case. Regardless, the CID has decided to charge sheet the accused.

Now either trial will have to begin or the accused may move a higher court seeking quashing of the charge sheet.

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