High Court sets free 5 'detainees'

Dgere police admit mistake in making arrests

A Division Bench comprising Justices K L Manjunath and Jawad Rahim, while hearing a habeas corpus petition by Shankarappa and Ananda, residents of Tarikere, directed the police to withdraw the proceedings initiated against the five before Taluk Magistrate.

The petitioners filed a habeas corpus petition after the police refused to release Srinivasa, Prabhu, Srinivasa, Jayappa and Nanjunda, who were arrested from Chennagiri bus stand on July 15, 2010. The petitioners submitted that the five were wrongfully
detained and sought to produce them.

However, as the police claimed that no arrests have been made, the High Court directed the Davangere District Judge to find the detainees.

After making surprise visits to nine police stations, the District Judge submitted that he could not find any such detainees in any of the stations. Following insistence by the petitioners’ counsel Nishet Kumar Shetty to produce the five before the Court, the DGP was directed to produce the detainees.

Davangere Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil, who appeared before the Court, admitted that the five were arrested on July 19, 2010, produced before the Taluk Executive Magistrate and remanded into judicial custody. The police also admitted that it was a “mistake” and they were forced to keep them for interrogation in connection with many criminal cases.

Prosecution warned

However, considering the background of the detained, the Court set them free and warned the police against such incidents, with a direction to withdraw cases against them.

The High Court has cautioned the Crime Investigation Department (CID) that the proceedings against Nithyananda will be dismissed if the prosecution failed to complete the probe within four weeks.

Hearing a petition by Nithyananda seeking to quash the FIR registered against him at Bidadi police station, Justice Arali Nagaraj granted the CID four weeks time to complete the probe and to record the statement of the witnesses.

K N Yogappa, Superintendent of Police, CID and investigating officer in the case, submitted that the evidence collected so far does not corroborate the offence under Section 376 (rape)and 420 (cheating) of IPC and that was the reason why charge sheet was not filed against Nithyananda.

He also submitted that he needs more time to record the statement of witnesses for the offence under Section 377 (unnatural sex) of IPC against Nithyananda.

He submitted that the statement of Nithyavimalananda, the prime witness in the particular offence, needs to be recorded.  He also sought time to record statements of some of the foreign witnesses.  The matter was adjourned to August 20.

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