SC denies Bajrang Dal worker anticipatory bail

The Supreme Court, while rejecting anticipatory bail to Khandya Praveen, said relief cannot be granted to a person facing non-bailable warrant. Photo for representation

Khandya Praveen, a VHP and Bajrang Dal worker, was denied antipatory bail by the Supreme Court of India on Monday. The apex court set set aside a Karnataka High Court order granting anticipatory bail to Praveen in an abduction case.

The court said such a relief cannot be granted to a person against whom a non-bailable warrant has been issued.

A bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and U U Lalit relied on a previous judgement of the apex court, holding that anticipatory bail cannot be granted when a non-bailable warrant is pending against an accused, to quash the high court's order.

Background

In 2016, Kallappa Handibag, a deputy superintendent of police in Chikkamangaluru district, committed suicide after he was charged with receiving INR 10 lakh for being part of a conspiracy to abduct Tejas Gowda. Praveen is alleged to be the mastermind behind Tejas's abduction.

On May 18 the top court had sought to know from the Karnataka government the details of the cases being faced by Praveen, after entertaining a special leave petition that challenged the anticipatory bail granted to him by the high court on December 16, 2016.

On Monday, advocate Balaji Srinivasan, representing Praveen, who claimed to be a social activist, involved in cow protection and anti-conversion campaigns, contended that the accused-respondent has appeared before the trial court after the grant of bail.

The state government's counsel V N Raghupathy furnished an affidavit, stating that Praveen has faced 32 criminal cases and has been acquitted in 12.

On this, the court allowed the state government's plea and rejected the plea by Praveen.

Praveen, who recently contested unsuccessfully as a BJP rebel candidate from Sringeri constituency and polled 1294 votes, is seen as one of the factors behind the defeat of three-term BJP MLA D N Jeevaraj, who lost by 1989 votes against the Congress's Rajegowda in the recently concluded Karnataka Assemnly Elections.

The high court had granted Praveen anticipatory bail as he had claimed that the case was illegally foisted upon him by the Chikkamagaluru Rural Police. The police had named 14 people in the charge sheet and Praveen was named as accused number four.

In January 2018, Praveen was arrested after the police slapped charges on him under the Goonda Act for his involvement in 32 criminal cases, but he was later granted bail.

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