Karnataka High Court directs police to not arrest Yediyurappa, asks latter to appear before cops on June 17

Yediyurappa had sent a letter to the police and expressed his inability to appear on June 11 and offered to appear on June 17.
Last Updated : 14 June 2024, 11:38 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Friday granted conditional relief to former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa in a case registered against him under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, 2012.

Justice Krishna S Dixit said that no coercive measures should be taken against Yediyurappa and directed the 81-year-old BJP leader to appear before police for questioning on June 17, in terms of his reply to a notice issued by the CID.

The court was hearing two petitions filed by Yediyurappa, one seeking anticipatory bail in the case and the other asking for quashing of the FIR.

Senior advocate C V Nagesh, appearing for Yediyurappa, submitted that the complainant, the now-deceased mother of the victim girl, was in the habit of filing complaints and blackmailing. He said that the complainant had filed complaints against her husband, son, politicians, bureaucrats and even senior IPS officers like Alok Kumar and Bhaskar Rao

The counsel said that the FIR was registered on March 14, 2024 in relation to an offence allegedly committed on February 2, 2024. The offences alleged are under section 8 of POCSO Act and IPC section 354A. He claimed that Yediyurappa appeared before the investigating officer on April 12, 2024 on being served with notice under CrPC section 41A and also gave his voice samples. However, when asked to appear through a notice on June 10, Yediyurappa sent a reply volunteering to appear on June 17.

Citing Apex Court judgements, Nagesh said that once the accused complies with the notice under CrPC section 41A, such person cannot be arrested. Yet, CID police approached the court seeking issuance of arrest warrant, he said.

On the other hand, Advocate-General Shashikiran Shetty raised a preliminary objection that the anticipatory bail petition before the high court is not maintainable. He submitted that the arrest warrant was secured under changed circumstances in the case and also when the accused did not appear on the second notice. He said that the warrant was secured after the receipt of FSL reports on voice samples and on the information that attempts were being made to tamper/destroy the evidence and to win over the complainant/witnesses.

Justice Dixit observed in the order that since the petitioner did not appear before the jurisdictional police pursuant to the second notice dated June 10, 2024 served on him on June 11, 2024, the arrest warrant was secured at the hands of the trial judge.

“Since the petitioner on the basis of the letter dated June 11, 2024 has volunteered to appear on June 17, 2024 and the same is brought to the notice of the court, we cannot immediately jump to the conclusion that a case is made out for the arrest or detention nor for custodial interrogation of the petitioner, who happens to be a former Chief Minister of the state and in the late evening of his life with ailments natural to that age,” Justice Dixit said.

Yediyurappa is not a ‘Tom Dick and Harry’ 

The court orally asked the police as to why they wanted to arrest Yediyurappa. Justice Dixit said that Yediyurappa is not a ‘Tom Dick and Harry’ but a former Chief Minister of the state. “Whether heavens would fall if he (Yediyurappa) appears a day or two later? Is it your case that he will flee away from the country?” he asked.

Published 14 June 2024, 11:38 IST

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