Woman was abducted to prevent testimony against Prajwal Revanna: SIT | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Woman was abducted to prevent testimony against Prajwal Revanna: SIT

By, Bengaluru
May 10, 2024 05:59 AM IST

Revanna’s counsel CV Nagesh sought bail for his client and challenged the legality of the MLA’s arrest, claiming the abduction case lacked substantial evidence

Janata Dal (Secular) legislator HD Revanna orchestrated the abduction of a woman survivor to prevent her from testifying against his lawmaker son Prajwal Revanna, the special investigation team (SIT) probing into sexual abuse charges against the Hassan MP alleged before a special court in Bengaluru on Thursday.

The controversy revolves around JD (S) leader Prajwal Revanna, who is accused of recording sexually explicit videos (PTI)
The controversy revolves around JD (S) leader Prajwal Revanna, who is accused of recording sexually explicit videos (PTI)

The SIT made the submission while opposing the bail plea filed by HD Revanna in the special court for elected representatives in connection with an abduction case against him. The SIT arrested the 66-year-old former Karnataka minister on May 4 after rescuing an abducted woman, also a survivor of an alleged sexual assault by Prajwal, from the Mysuru farmhouse of Revanna’s aide Sathish Babanna, who is also in SIT custody.

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Also Read | 'King of blackmail': DK Shivakumar says Prajwal Revanna's uncle HD Kumaraswamy behind pen drives

The abduction 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.

Revanna’s counsel CV Nagesh sought bail for his client and challenged the legality of the MLA’s arrest, claiming the abduction case lacked substantial evidence.

“Nagesh argued that Revanna’s arrest was unjustified, claiming there was no coercion involved in the alleged incident. He also contended that the timing of the filing of the FIR (first information report) and Revanna’s subsequent arrest points at political motives,” an official familiar with the matter said, requesting anonymity.

Also Read | Prajwal Revanna ‘sex videos’: HD Kumaraswamy alleges ‘25000 pen drives’ plot

The lawyer further questioned as to why despite having the custody of the woman for six days, SIT failed to record her statement, inspect the crime scene and secure the alleged vehicles used. “He argued that the SIT failed produce any evidence before the court in the case,” the official added.

The SIT, however, opposed the bail plea filed by the Holenarasipur MLA, who is the son of JD(S) patriarch and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.

“The abduction of the woman was orchestrated by the accused to prevent her from testifying against Prajwal Revanna,” the SIT’s counsel Jayna Kothari submitted before the court. “There are concerns over potential interference in the ongoing probe if bail were to be granted to the accused.”

The special MP/MLA court adjourned the hearing in the bail plea to May 13. The MLA is currently lodged in judicial custody at the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail.

The abduction case is linked to the allegations of sexual abuse of women by Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, who is seeking re-election from the seat as an NDA candidate. Hassan Lok Sabha seat, considered the bastion of Deve Gowda family, went to polls April 26. A day later, Prajwal reportedly left the country and has since failed to respond to SIT summons to appear before it.

Explicit video clips allegedly involving Prajwal (33), who has since been suspended from the JD(S), had started making the rounds in Hassan in the run-up to the polls, following which the Congress-led state government constituted the SIT on April 28 to probe the charges against the MP.

Meanwhile, the SIT has detained four more people in connection with the kidnapping case. The four — all from Krishnaraja Nagara in Mysuru — have been picked up to find out their role in the case, SIT officials said.

SIT probe ‘losing track’

Senior Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday alleged that the SIT probing into the sexual abuse charges against his nephew, Prajwal Revanna, is “losing track”, and said his party would submit a memorandum to Karnataka governor Thaawarchand Gehlot.

Maintaining that he wants the guilty to be punished by the law, Kumaraswamy raised questions on the progress of the probe by the SIT constituted by the Congress government.

“We are giving a memorandum to the Governor as to how the investigation is losing its track… I have been saying since day one that whoever has committed wrong has to be punished. Looking at the way in which things are going on, it looks like none of these people want the guilty punished but want publicity… What is the achievement (progress) since the investigation began?” he told reporters.

Raising questions regarding the investigation against Prajwal’s father and his brother, HD Revanna, Kumaraswamy asked why the woman who was allegedly kidnapped has not been produced before the court so far, after she was rescued.

“It has been how many days since the kidnapped woman was brought here? Has her statement been recorded under section 164 of CrPC (statements recorded by a magistrate)? Has she been produced before the judge? It has been five days, why has the woman not been produced before the judge? From where was she brought? Was the ‘mahazar’ done? Was she brought from some farmhouse as claimed and reported in the media?” Kumaraswamy asked.

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