In a boost for former Karnataka minister Ramesh Jarkiholi in the sex-for-jobs case, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday dismissed the allegation against his ex cabinet colleague as one made with malicious intent. The CM went on to say that he will ask him (Ramesh) to campaign for the party in his home district where byelections are due to be held.
“I will ask Ramesh Jarkiholi to come and take part in the campaigning," the CM told reporters as he broke silence on the raging issue. He added an impartial probe was on, in connection with the scandal to bring out the truth. Jarkiholi has been booked under 354A (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 417 (Punishment for cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult), 376 C (Sexual intercourse by person in authority) of the Indian Penal Code. He has also been booked under 67A (Punishment for publishing or transmitting of material containing sexually explicit acts) of the Information Technology Act.
But much before the FIR against the ex-minister, a senior IPS officer led special investigation team (SIT) was appointed by the government to investigate the source of the leak.
Belgaum Lok Sabha seat in Belagavi, which is the home district of the Jarkiholis is going to the bypolls along with Maski and Basavakalyan assembly segments on April 17.
Mangala Suresh Angadi is the wife of late Union Minister Suresh Angadi, whose death due to COVID-19 in September last year, has necessitated the by-election.
Incidentally Ramesh’s brother Satish is the opposition candidate from the Congress.
"Our Law Minister Basavaraj Bommai is getting the case inquired impartially...it is known that unnecessary allegations have been made against Ramesh Jarkiholi, it is also being discussed that the allegations have been made with a malicious intent..let's wait and see," Yediyurappa said.
Jarkiholi, who was Water Resources Minister, resigned on March 3, a day after news channels aired a video clip purportedly showing him getting intimate with a woman.
While Jarkiholi has repeatedly claimed his innocence and that the video was "fake", the woman,said to be featured in the clip, has accused him of sexually "using" her, cheating and threatening her after promising a government job. Based on the woman’s complaint, the former minister has now been booked by Cubbon Park police.
On Monday, the complainant had also recorded her statement before a magistrate as per the legal procedure.