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ZP member murder: Karnataka HC declines to quash case against Congress MLA Vinay Kulkarni

Goudar, a BJP zilla panchayat member, was murdered on June 15, 2016, at Dharwad.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 20:39 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 20:39 IST

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In a setback to Congress MLA Vinay Vinay R Kulkarni, the High Court of Karnataka has dismissed his petition challenging proceedings against him in the Yogeshgouda Goudar murder case.

Goudar, a BJP zilla panchayat member, was murdered on June 15, 2016, at Dharwad. 

Kulkarni, named accused number 15 in the case, had challenged the December 6, 2023, order passed by the trial court framing charges against him. The CBI case is that Kulkarni, who was the district in-charge minister at the relevant time, did not want Goudar to grow as a leader in Dharwad and paid to kill him. 

It was argued on behalf of Kulkarni that there is no material to connect him to the case. It was also submitted that the order framing charges was a non-speaking order and didn’t reflect the application of mind.

He also contended that the trial judge solely acted upon the statement of accused number 17, who turned approver in the case. 

On the other hand, P Prasanna Kumar, special public prosecutor for the CBI, submitted the charge sheet containing the statements of 150 witnesses along with 130 documents. He argued that though accused number 17 has turned approver, there are other materials available against the petitioner. 

Justice Krishna S Dixit perused the content in the charge sheet and noted that sifting evidence is permissible only for the limited purpose of finding out a prima facie case at the stage of framing of charges by the trial court.

The court said that there were other abundant materials which sustained the trial court order even if the statement of the approver was excluded from consideration. 

“The incident happened way back in the year 2016. The petitioner and other accused persons have moved this court and Supreme Court several times. It is true that in some cases, they have got some reprieve. Since then, years have rolled, not even a leaf being turned. A long-drawn criminal case would disserve the interest of administration of criminal justice. Every case, more particularly, a case of this kind should be tried and disposed of ‘Before the Memory Fades’, at least as a concession to the shortness of human life. Therefore, I am of the considered view that the trial of this case should be conducted on a war footing,” the court said, requesting the trial court to accomplish the trial, preferably within three months. 

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Published 17 April 2024, 20:39 IST

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