The CID has also framed charges against the devotee's husband based on the complaint filed with Girinagar police.

news Crime Monday, September 24, 2018 - 08:03

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Karnataka has filed a charge-sheet against Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami, seer of the Sri Ramachandrapura Mutt in Shivamogga district, for allegedly raping a devotee at the mutt. The CID has also framed charges against the devotee's husband based on the complaint filed with Girinagar police. He has been named as a co-accused in the case.

The devotee alleged that she was raped by the seer for the first time when she was in class 9. She also alleged that she was forced to marry an employee of the mutt and that she was raped again by the seer in 2012, as per The Hindu. 

The CID took over the probe following a complaint filed with Girinagar police in 2015. The investigative agency has gathered proof and confirmed the seer's involvement in the crime. 

The seer is no stranger to controversy and faces other criminal cases. He was accused of raping a singer at the mutt in nine different districts of Karnataka besides Jodhpur, Kolkata and Mumbai in 2014. Two years later, a trial court gave him a clean chit in this case stating that phone records and DNA evidence from cloth stains were not enough to confirm the seer's involvement in the crime. 

A complaint by the survivor alleged that she was being intimidated by the seer, and that he was responsible for abetting the suicide of Shyam Prasad Shastry, the brother of her husband. 

Second rape complaint against Ramachandrapura Mutt seer Raghaveshwara Bharati

Ramachandrapura Mutt of Hosanagara (Shivamogga district), belongs to the Havyaka Brahmins, one of the most influential communities in the state— whose members occupy some of the senior most positions in the state’s judiciary, bureaucracy, police, government and equally importantly, the media. 

Incidentally, five judges of the Karnataka High Court had recused themselves from hearing cases against the seer in 2014. 

Read: Reasons 5 Karnataka High Court judges gave for recusing themselves from a rape case on a seer

There were protests by students, women and rationalist groups in September 2015 calling for his arrest. They had alleged that the police had not filed a charge-sheet against the seer even one year after booking the first case, due to political pressure.