Yediyurappa 'untraceable' after Bengaluru court issues arrest warrant in sex abuse case

The BJP strongman was booked under Pocso Act for molesting 17-year-old girl.
Last Updated : 13 June 2024, 16:53 IST

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Bengaluru: Former chief minister B S Yediyurappa has gone to an "undisclosed" location in New Delhi after a Bengaluru court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him on Thursday in a case related to the sexual abuse of a minor girl. 

The Lingayat strongman arrived in the national capital on Tuesday night, staying with his son and Shimoga MP BY Raghavendra at the latter's residence on Pandit Pant Marg. By Wednesday afternoon, he had left for an undisclosed location. 

Apart from Raghavendra's personal staff, no one else is at the house. News reporters waited outside all day Thursday, anticipating Yediyurappa's return, but he did not appear. 

A senior police officer told DH that the BJP politician's arrest was imminent following the arrest warrant issued by Bengaluru's Additional City Civil and Sessions and Fast Track Special Court (FTSC-1). 

"The probe team has received the warrant and will execute it. A call will be taken on whether to wait for his return (to Bengaluru)," the officer said, declining to provide further details. 

This development comes nearly three months after a 54-year-old woman accused Yediyurappa of sexually harassing her 17-year-old daughter at his house in northern Bengaluru's Dollars Colony. 

Sadashivanagar police opened a case under Section 8 (punishment for sexual assault) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and IPC Section 354A (sexual harassment). 

Yediyurappa has denied the accusation. Karnataka's Congress government handed the case to the CID. 

The probe agency recorded the statements of the woman and her daughter under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and collected Yediyurappa's voice samples. 

On June 10, the CID summoned the senior politician for questioning. It moved the court for an arrest warrant after Yediyurappa requested more time. 

Another senior police source said that the CID approached the court under "changed circumstances." 

"Even though the offences the former chief minister is booked for typically result in less than seven years imprisonment and arrest isn't usually imminent in such cases, the application for an arrest warrant was moved under changed circumstances,” the source said. 

What's the complaint? 

On March 14, the girl's mother stated in her police complaint that she and her daughter visited Yediyurappa on February 2, seeking assistance in previous cases of sexual abuse. She wanted him to help transfer the probe to a Special Investigation Team (SIT). 

"We went to Yediyurappa’s house to seek his help in getting justice for my daughter, who is a rape victim. He heard us for a few minutes and then took my daughter to a room and molested her," she alleged, adding that she delayed approaching the police because she was afraid. 

Sources quoted the complainant as alleging that Yediyurappa handed some cash to the minor before they left the room and that one of his aides deleted a video that she had recorded. 

DH learnt that the CID has recovered Rs 35,000 in cash reportedly paid to the girl and her mother, along with a cash bag and two mobile phones. 

The CID has added IPC sections 204 (destruction of document or electronic record to prevent its production as evidence) and 214 (offering gift or restoration of property in consideration of screening offender) to the FIR. 

On May 26, the girl's mother died at a hospital in Bengaluru due to "lung complications." 

HC to hear BSY pleas today

The High Court of Karnataka is set to hear Yediyurappa's two petitions related to the case on Friday. 

In one application, the BJP leader is seeking anticipatory bail while the other has prayed for quashing the case itself. 

On June 10, the minor girl's brother petitioned the high court, seeking its intervention to expedite the probe.

Published 13 June 2024, 11:27 IST

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