One more judge of the Karnataka High Court has recused himself from hearing the case related to Raghaveshwara Bharathi, the seer of Ramachandrapur Mutt who has been accused of raping a Ramakatha singer.
When the matter came up for hearing before the high court on Monday, Justice N Kumar recused himself from hearing the case.
Justice Kumar is the third judge to recuse from hearing the case.
When the writ appeal seeking quashing of the FIR and further proceedings against the seer came up for hearing before the division bench comprising Justice Kumar and Justice B Veerappa, the judge refused to hear the matter without providing any reasons.
In November, Justice K N Phaneendra had recused himself from hearing the petition filed by the seer to quash the Crime Investigation Department (CID) notice asking him to appear for medical examination.
The judge recused from hearing the matter after he learnt that the victim had written a letter to the President seeking a fair trial. Justice Phaneendra, while recusing himself, had given a reason that he no longer wished to continue to hear the matter as the victim did not have faith in the judge.
Subsequently, the matter was referred to another judge who had directed the seer to undergo medical examination.
On January 6, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy had recused himself from hearing the matter without providing any reason. Justice Reddy had heard the arguments in the morning session.
However, when the bench reassembled in the post-noon session, he recused himself from hearing the plea.
The pontiff has been accused of raping a singer from a Ramakatha group and he has filed a writ appeal challenging the single bench order permitting the CID to continue investigation in relation to the sexual harassment or rape case filed against him.