'Don't let order sway Lankesh murder accused bail plea'

Gauri Lankesh murder: Decide bail plea of accused uninfluenced by HC order, says SC

Lankesh, a leading journalist, was killed on September 5, 2017

The Supreme Court of India. Credit: PTI Photo

The Supreme Court has asked the Karnataka High Court to decide the bail plea of an accused in the murder case of activist Gauri Lankesh, without considering its decision related to quashing of charges under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA).

A bench presided over by Justice A M Khanwilkar passed such a direction noting that the order passed by the High Court on April 22 was a subject matter of challenge before the top court.

The top court on June 29 issued notice to the Karnataka government as well as accused Mohan Nayak on an appeal filed by filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh, sister of slain activist Gauri Lankesh, against the HC's April 22 order.

Read more: Gauri Lankesh murder: SC issues notice to Karnataka govt on dropping KCOCA charges against accused

In its written order, released subsequently, the court provided interim relief to Kavitha as her counsel contended after dropping off the stringent charges, the accused had moved the bail plea, on which the High Court had concluded its hearing.

Lankesh, a leading journalist, was killed on September 5, 2017, outside her house at Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru. Kavitha is a complainant in the case.

She claimed the investigation by SIT has revealed that Nayak, was part of the syndicate led by Amol Kale which has committed multiple organised crimes apart from the murder of Gauri.

Her plea also claimed Nayak has been actively involved in providing shelter to the killers before and after committing the offence and has participated in a series of conspiracies, abetting, planning, providing logistics.