BJP leader Ramesh Jarkiholi, who has been booked in a sex-for-jobs and sexual harassment case, has tested positive for coronavirus. Citing health reasons, the former minister, who stepped down from his post on March 3 following allegations of sexual harassment against him, did not appear on Friday before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the case.
The Gokak MLA had two days ago deputed his counsel with a letter to the Investigating Officer, stating that he was not keeping well and requested further time till he recovered. Jarkiholi, who was Water Resources Minister in the Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa-led cabinet, had resigned on March 3, a day after news channels aired videos of the alleged sex-for-job case.
An FIR was registered against Jarkiholi on March 26 based on a written complaint by the woman through her lawyer. While Jarkiholi has repeatedly claimed his innocence and that the video was fake, the woman in the video has accused him of sexually using her, cheating and threatening her after promising a government job.
Last week, the Special Investigation Team investigating the case took the woman for an inspection to the alleged crime scene to gather evidence. The SIT, along with the woman who has accused Jarkiholi of raping her, went to two posh apartments where the alleged crime took place and two PGs in which she had stayed for some time.
The SIT had also taken her to Bowring Institute, where she underwent counselling from psychologists as part of the medical examination. According to the police, they have recovered a considerable amount of information from her, besides collecting evidence too.
Ramesh Jarkiholi was on March 29 questioned by the SIT for over four hours during the day.
The sex-for-jobs case came to the fore when a video of Jarkiholi with the woman was leaked to news channels in the state and it led to Ramesh Jarkiholi's resignation as Water Resources Minister. But it was not until March 26 that an FIR was registered in the case by the Bengaluru police accusing Ramesh Jarkiholi of sexual harassment, criminal intimidation and cheating.