Reasons 5 Karnataka High Court judges gave for recusing themselves from a rape case on a seer
news Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | January 22, 2015 | 12.26 pm IST The Raghaveshwara Bharathi rape allegation case is afflicted with a curious phenomenon. Karnataka High Court judges before which the case is to be heard, keep recusing themselves. On Thursday, two more judges said that they would not like to hear the case. The turn of events occurred rather suddenly. As scheduled, the proceedings began in court and the lawyer for the seer Manmohan said that B V Acharya was representing the seer since the beginning of the legal proceedings. At this, Vijaya Karnataka reports, Justice S G Ramesh said that if that was the case, he would recuse himself from hearing the case. Justice Ramesh then asked the Attorney General Ravivarma Kumar, who was the prosecution lawyer, if it was all right for him to hear the case. Kumar there could be no objection to it. Despite this, Justice Ramesh said he would recuse himself from hearing the case. At this, the other judge who was part of the Division Bench set up to hear the case, P B Hajanthri, also recused himself from the case. Justice Ramesh later said that he had recused himself from the case as the advocate B V Acharya was senior to him, and therefore, he did not want to continue hearing the case. According to the report, the High Courtâ€™s division benches have almost been exhausted. Now, the Chief Justice of the High Court will have to be part of a division bench along with another judge, or the court will have to constitute a special bench out of two judges presiding over single-judge benches. So far, apart from the two judges who recused themselves from the case on Thursday, three more judges have recused themselves from hearing various aspects of the case.Â The seer of the Ramachandrapura Mutt Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami was accused of raping a singer who performed the Ramakatha during religious programmes organized by the Mutt. Read:Â I tread on the path of Rama, not Ravana says seer Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami who faces rape case The matter came to light when the singer and her husband were arrested on allegations of blackmailing the seer. The woman had alleged that the seer cooked up charges of blackmail in order to prevent her from lodging a complaint against him, accusing him of raping her multiple times in the past. Since then, the case has taken various twists and turns and is currently pending before the High Court.Â Since October, three High Court judges have recused themselves from hearing various stages of the case, the latest one being on Monday. On Tuesday, the High Court formed another bench to hear the current stage of the case.Â Judge number 1 In November 2014, Justice K N Phaneendra had recused himself from hearing the petition filed by the seer to quash the Crime Investigation Department (CID) notice asking him to appear for medical examination. The judge said that he had recused himself because he was â€śpainedâ€ť that the victim did not appear to have faith in him, as she had written to the President seeking a fair trial. Read:Â Woman accusing Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami of rape writes to President for "justice" Judge number 2 On January 6, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy also recused himself from hearing the case. Along with Chief Justice D H Waghela, Justice Reddy was hearing a petition by the seer questioning the October 9, 2014, order of a single-judge bench which had refused to quash the FIR filed against him.Â Justice Reddy had heard the arguments in the morning session, but when the bench reassembled in the post-noon session, he said: â€śThough I heard the arguments in the morning session, I have some reservations. I will not hear this matter and will recuse myself from the case.â€ť Judge number 3 On January 19, Justice N Kumar also recused himself from the hearing the petition seeking quashing of the FIR against him, the judge recused himself from hearing the case without giving any reasons. He was part of a division bench along with Justice B Veerappa.Â On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court set up a Division Bench to hear a petition in the case. At present, a bench of Chief Justice S G Ramesh and Justice Pavan Kumar B Bhajanthri has been formed to look into the appeal filed by the seer questioning an October 2014 order of a single-judge Bench of the High Court which refused to quash the FIR accusing the seer of rape. Tweet
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