Relief for Raghaveshwara Seer: High Court rejects petition for criminal review

The Karnataka High Court dismissed the petition for criminal review challenging the release and acquittal of seer Raghaveshwara Bharathi from Sri Ramachandrapura Math of Hosanagar taluk in Shivamogga district in an alleged rape case.

The state government, through the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and the victim, a singer of Ram Katha, challenged the order of the trial court.

Citing the coordinate bench judgment, Judge V Shrishananda said the indictment filed by the head of the CID investigative team is not an indictment in the eyes of the law because it is not filed by the officer in charge of a police station. under article 173 of the CrPC. Applying the principles in the case of Dhakkal and the case of Kerala Transport Company, the court also noted that since the state government has already challenged the order of the lower court, a separate petition for review by the victim is not sustainable.

Regarding the indictment filed by the CID, the court observed that, unlike the CCB, the state government did not notify the CID as a police station. “If the indictment is filed by a person who is not the person authorized to file a final report as provided for in Article 173 of the CrPC, the whole procedure would be definitely flawed. Therefore, the continuation of the proceedings under the said indictment must be declared no east, ”said the court.

The CID had filed the indictment against the clairvoyant for the offenses referred to in Articles 376 (2) (f), 376 (2) (n) and 508 of the IPC. The indictment said the FSL report confirmed that the DNA sample found on the physical evidence matched the seer’s DNA. The charges included Article 508 of the IPC since the clairvoyant allegedly threatened the victim with incurring divine pleasure (if she did not comply).

Before the pre-charge hearing (HBC) stage, the psychic had filed a request for release under Article 227 of the CrPC. The CID and the victim opposed, saying that since the charges were serious, only a trial would uncover the facts. The special court issued the seer’s release order on March 31, 2016.

The state government and the victim challenged this order in the High Court, filing petitions for criminal review. In the petition for review, the state government argued that the trial court failed to understand that the expert opinion in the form of a DNA report had presumptive value and should prima facie be accepted as true unless discredited or impeached at trial.

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