SC allows CBI probe into murder of BJP worker in K'taka

SC's order allowing CBI probe into BJP worker's murder spells trouble for ex-Karnataka minister Vinay Kulkarni

A view of the Supreme Court (PTI Photo)

In a possible trouble to former Karnataka Minister and Congress leader Vinay Kulkarni, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the CBI to go ahead with its investigation into the murder of a BJP worker, Yogeshgouda Goudar, on June 15, 2016 after he defeated rival Congress party candidate in Zila Panchayat in Dharwad.

A bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose stayed the Karnataka High Court's order of November 21, 2019, which had suspended the probe into case, allegedly involving Kulkarni, former Minister of Mine and Geology as an accused.

The court passed the order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj questioned the validity of the High Court's order. The court issued notice to Basavaraj Shivappa Muttagi and others on whose plea the High Court had passed its order.

The CBI took over the investigation into the matter in September, 2019 on a recommendation made by the Karnataka government after change in dispensation.

The family members of the deceased suspected the role of then Minister, Kulkarni into the incident wherein Goudar was hacked to death on June 15, 2016 at his gym, allegedly by accomplices of Muttagi after sprinkling chili powder on his face.

The state police, for its part, had already completed its probe and filed its chargesheet against the prime accused Muttagi. 

This is the second time that the matter reached the top court as in July, 2019 it had dismissed a plea by Tungamma, the mother of the deceased for the CBI probe.

She had alleged that the police shielded the real culprits including the minister, since they did not investigate receipt of an anonymous letter, a day before the murder, as well as the CCTV footage immediately after the incident from the building where Goudar was hacked to death.

The petitioners, including Gurunathagouda, the brother of the deceased, then claimed the police did not investigate into suspicious movement of a black Hyundai Accent Car which came from KCD circle towards Saptapur Circle and again returned to the said circle as the accused persons were seen making the sign at the time of the incident.

They also pointed out the Home Minister made a statement within one hour of the murder stating that it was due to land dispute raised sufficient doubt on authenticity and credibility of the probe.

The petitioners had then challenged the validity of the high court's judgement of March 1, 2019, dismissing their writ petition for the CBI probe.

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