State govt hands over Ravi death case to CBI

State govt hands over Ravi death case to CBI

State govt hands over Ravi death case to CBI

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced in the Assembly on Monday that the probe into the mysterious death of IAS officer D K Ravi will be handed over to the CBI.

The announcement came following tremendous pressure on the State government from various quarters to refer the case to the country’s premier probe agency.

Also, the State government submitted before the high court on Monday that Ravi and IAS officer Rohini Sindhuri Dasari “shared more than a cordial relationship that generally exists among batchmates, which included financial transactions between the two. Ravi wanted the relationship to progress into more than just friendship.” Advocate General (A-G) Ravivarma Kumar, however, did not name the woman officer.

In its objection to the petition filed by Rohini’s husband, Sudhir Reddy, the government stated that the woman officer was not interrogated by the CID as mentioned in a section of the media, but voluntarily approached the investigating agency on March 18 and gave her statement. Based on the statement, the agency seized her mobile phone.

The A-G submitted: “Several exchange of messages both by SMS and WhatsApp between her and Ravi were found in the phone. The messages clearly disclosed the state of mind of the deceased officer as well as the relationship that he shared with her.”

Details of the calls and messages were submitted to the court in a sealed envelope.
During the hearing, the A-G questioned the locus standi of the petitioner and said that it was the “grossest abuse” of the court and amounted to false propaganda just to tie the hands of the government which was on the verge of submitting the CID’s interim report.  

Representing the petitioner, senior counsel Sajan Poovayya said Rohini’s name has been defamed in the public domain as the State government has not made any effort to curtail the leaking of probe details, including phone records, to the media.
 
The petitioner said it was his duty to protect his wife and family’s reputation, which is at stake now. Reddy said his wife’s phone had photographs taken with Ravi and if those went to the media, there will be lot of colour added about which he is worried.

To this, the A-G said that the government cannot restrict reports that are appearing in the media when the name of the woman IAS officer was already in public domain. Kumar also said that the petition was politically motivated

The bench orally observed whether the government had the licence to defame an individual and what if the investigators file a “B” report in the case and the woman officer’s reputation was damaged.

During the argument that details of the investigation cannot be revealed, the A-G said that members of the Legislature were only exercising their right to freedom of speech and expression as enshrined under Article 194 of the Constitution.

At this point, Poovayya contended that under Article 19(1) (a) there were reasonable restrictions to freedom of speech and expression.

Justice S Abdul Nazeer observed that the State government had agreed for a CBI probe and directed the petitioner to file his contentions before adjourning the hearing to Tuesday.

Government

Woman officer and Ravi shared more than a cordial relationship that exists among batchmates, which included financial transactions. Ravi wanted the relationship to progress into more than just friendship

Several exchanges of messages both by SMS and WhatsApp between her and Ravi were found.

The messages clearly disclosed the state of mind of the deceased officer as well as the relationship that he shared with her. 

Petitioner

My wife’s name has been defamed in the public domain as the government has not made any effort to curtail leaking of probe details, including phone records, to the media

It is my duty to protect my wife and my family’s reputation, which is at stake now

My wife’s phone had photographs of her with Ravi, and if this goes to the media, a lot of colour will be added, about which I am worried.

 

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