Gauri Lankesh murder: SC issues notice to K'taka govt

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

Lankesh, a leading journalist, was killed on September 05, 2017 outside her house at Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru

The top court observed that the accused cannot be granted bail till the plea was heard and disposed of by the Supreme Court. Credit: Reuters file photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Karnataka government on an appeal filed by filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh, sister of slain activist Gauri Lankesh, against the High Court's decision to quash charges under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) against one of the accused in the murder case. 

A bench presided over by Justice A M Khanwilkar sought a response from the state government as well as accused Mohan Nayak, a resident of Dakshina Kannada, and put the matter for consideration on July 15.

Senior counsel Huzefa Ahmadi assisted by advocate Aparna Bhat, representing the petitioner, contended that after the High Court order, the accused had moved the bail on which hearing has been completed.

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The top court observed that the accused cannot be granted bail till the plea was heard and disposed of by the Supreme Court.

The plea 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.

The plea said charge-sheets have been filed with respect to the murders of Dr Narendra Dabolkar in 2013, Govinda Pansare in 2015, Dr M M Kalburgi in 2015 and conspiracy to murder Prof Bhagavan in 2018. 

“Accordingly, the condition of at least 2 charge-sheets having been filed against the syndicate in the last 10 years along with cognisance by competent court stands fulfilled and invocation of KCOCA against the accused stands justified," it contended.
 
The High Court had on April 22, quashed the order of Bengaluru Commissioner of Police passed in 2018 and the supplementary chargesheet filed thereafter.

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

Lankesh, a leading journalist, was killed on September 05, 2017 outside her house at Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru. Kavitha is a complainant in the case.

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