HD Revanna granted bail in woman abduction case | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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HD Revanna granted bail in woman abduction case

By, Bengaluru
May 14, 2024 07:40 AM IST

The bail, secured on a surety of ₹5 lakh, comes with certain conditions, according to which Revanna is prohibited from entering KR Nagar.

A special court in Bengaluru on Monday granted bail to Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) legislator HD Revanna in connection with an abduction case linked to the allegations of sexual abuse of women by his son and Hassan member of Parliament (MP) Prajwal Revanna.

The 66-year-old Holenarasipur legislator is likely to be released from the Parappana Agrahara central jail, where he is currently incarcerated (PTI)
The 66-year-old Holenarasipur legislator is likely to be released from the Parappana Agrahara central jail, where he is currently incarcerated (PTI)

Judge Santhosh Gajanan Bhat of the special court for elected representatives, also known as special MP/MLA court, heard the matter and granted bail to Revanna.

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The bail, secured on a surety of 5 lakh, comes with certain conditions, according to which Revanna is prohibited from entering KR Nagar, where the alleged kidnapping took place, or trying to influence the victim or other related parties in the case. He is also barred from leaving the country and is obligated to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation, an official aware of the matter said.

The 66-year-old Holenarasipur legislator is likely to be released from the Parappana Agrahara central jail, where he is currently incarcerated, on Tuesday, the official said, pointing out that the XVII additional chief metropolitan magistrate court has remanded him to seven days’ judicial custody, which ends on May 14.

The special investigation team (SIT), probing into sexual abuse charges against Prajwal, arrested Revanna on May 4, hours after rescuing the alleged abducted woman from the Mysuru-based farmhouse of the latter’s aide Sathish Babanna, who is also in the SIT custody. Revanna, the son of JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, was arrested from his father’s residence in Bengaluru. The case was registered following a complaint by the woman’s 20-year-old son, who alleged that his mother had figured in the huge cache of explicit videos leaked recently of women who were allegedly raped and molested by Revanna’s son Prajwal.

During the hearing on his bail plea on May 9, the SIT had claimed that Revanna “orchestrated” the abduction of the woman survivor to prevent her from testifying against his son, the Hassan lawmaker and now-suspended JD(S) leader.

Revanna’s lawyer, senior counsel CV Nagesh, claimed that the charges levelled against the JD(S) MLA were politically motivated. He further submitted that the survivor has recently said in a video that she has not been abducted by Revanna or his family.

“There was no allegation of the survivor being forced or trapped. There was no demand. HD Revanna is a politician and there are political reasons behind his arrest. The incident took place on April 29 and the FIR [first information report] was filed on May 2. There was no kidnap or illegal detention. The survivor was a maid (help) at HD Revanna’s residence and the kidnap charges don’t apply,” he argued.

Special public prosecutor Jaina Kothari and additional public prosecutor Ashok Naik, representing the SIT, however countered the claim, saying the accused indulged in abducting the victim to cover up multiple sexual assaults by his son, who is absconding. They also highlighted the potential danger to the victim and witnesses, and the risk of evidence tampering due to the influence the accused wields. They presented the fact that the SIT recorded statements under sections 161 (examination of witnesses by police) and 164 (statements recorded by Magistrate) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), with the victim providing a statement against Revanna.

Nagesh countered by pointing out that the woman’s son lodged the complaint saying his mother had not come home and he also mentioned that she had gone with the known individual on a motorbike. “How is it interpreted as kidnap? It is not a case of kidnap,” Revanna’s counsel said.

After a brief adjournment, Nagesh argued that the sections invoked by SIT are invalid and cited a few previous court verdicts on kidnapping cases.

“SIT has not furnished single evidence against my client to establish that he abducted the victim. There is no demand for money or valuables or any sort of force against the victim. 364A (Kidnapping for ransom) cannot be invoked in this case,” he argued. Stating that cases against Prajwal Revanna have got nothing to do with Revanna. he requested to grant his client immediate bail relief.

Kothari pointed out that there is some misinformation in Nagesh’s argument. “Victim is not a relative of HD Revanna as stated by CV Nagesh and 161 statements before the Investigation Officer have been recorded on May 5th and not later.”

To this, Judge Bhat said: “161 and 164 statements are furnished before the court in both remand applications.”

The SIT sought time to furnish written documents related to this, but was turned down by the judge and he reserved the order to Monday evening, and later granted bail to Revanna.

Prajwal Revanna, who is seeking a second term from Hassan as a JD(S)-BJP alliance, reportedly left the country on April 27, a day after the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka was held. While the Congress government has formed a SIT to probe the cases, the BJP and JD(S) have demanded that it be handed over to CBI, and action against those behind the circulation of explicit videos.

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