'Book Ramesh Jarkiholi for rape': Siddaramaiah in Karnataka Assembly

Siddaramaiah also questioned why six Ministers obtained injunctions if they had done nothing wrong.
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Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, speaking in the Karnataka Assembly on Monday, urged for former Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi to be booked for rape. Taking up the issue of the alleged sex CD of Ramesh Jarkiholi, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah asked why six Ministers sought injunction against CDs that were not even telecast. Alleging injustice to the woman seen in the video, Siddaramaiah asked for an independent inquiry by a High Court judge into the allegations made in the tape.

The former CM also questioned why an FIR had not been registered against Jarkiholi despite the CD being in public domain. 

“On March 2, 2021 at around 6:45 pm, one Dinesh Kalahalli met the Bengaluru Police Commissioner and filed a complaint against Ramesh Jarkiholi who is a Minister in the state Cabinet. He had said that there is a CD relating to a sexual allegation. He was with a young woman who had asked him for a job. And Jarkiholi had misused the situation for sexual gains. This is what the CD shows. But there was no FIR filed though it was a cognisable offence. According to me, a case should have been taken up by the police but that was not done,” Siddaramiah said in the Assembly. 

Siddaramaiah further asked why six Ministers, with no provocation, obtained injunctions against media reportage of CDs not even made public. Alleging suppression of freedom of the press, Siddaramaiah said, “It was also mentioned that there are 19 CDs relating to ministers and MLAs and that they can be reported. Then based on mere imagination, Ministers, without any provocation, got an injunction till March 31. At least 67 news organisations have been told they cannot telecast anything in this regard. The freedom of expression given under Article 19 of the Constitution and every citizen has a right to know what their elected representatives are doing.” 

“The six Ministers have gotten the injunction alleging defamation. Why are they afraid if they have done nothing wrong? How will they protect people if they cannot protect themselves? Why did other Ministers not take any injunction, just these six Ministers?” he asked.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing how the CD was leaked has recorded Jarkiholi’s statement after questioning him after he filed a complaint. Jarkiholi had alleged that he was being blackmailed for several months and when he refused to yield to alleged extortion attempts, a fake CD was released.

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