Seer must take medical test: HC

Seer must take medical test: HC

The High Court on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by Raghaveshwara Bharathi, pontiff of Ramachandrapura Mutt in Hosanagar, Shivamogga district, challenging the decision of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to subject him to a medical test in connection with a rape case against him.

Justice A N Venugopal Gowda, while dismissing the petition, held that the decision of the investigating officer to conduct a medical test on the seer was justified and based on the material recovered during the investigation.

He observed, “During the course of investigation, certain materials have been collected and the same are required to be matched with the material to be taken from the accused for DNA profiling. The notice issued by the officer for medical test has not been issued with any animosity or to put the personal liberty of the petitioner in jeopardy.”

The seer had contended that the medical test, as per the Act, allowed extraction of body fluids, which was a violation of Article 20 (3) and Article 21 of Constitution of India. Article 20 (3) says no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself and Article 21 envisages protection of life and personal liberty.

Challenging the validity of the Act, the counsel had stated that the body fluid was obtained by using force, which amounted to torture. He had also stated that the Investigating agency had not informed him about the kind of test he should undergo. The seer had even impleaded the Union Government in the matter.

Justice Gowda, while accepting the submission of the Union Government regarding the tests, dismissed the petition and observed that a medical test would be conducted in the case and the test will not violate the seer’s rights.

Meanwhile, the seer has filed another petition before the division bench headed by the Chief Justice seeking quashing of the complaint of rape filed against him by a devotee.
He has stated that the complaint was baseless and filed to tarnish his image. The matter has been adjourned.

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