HC allows probe to continue against BJP leader for distributing Prajwal Revanna videos

Preetham Gowda has been named as an accused in the fourth FIR registered against Prajwal Revanna by a woman
Preetham Gowda
Preetham Gowda
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The Karnataka High Court on Friday, June 28 refused to stall the ongoing investigation against former BJP MLA from Hassan, Preetham Gowda, who is alleged to have distributed videos of sexual assault involving Janata Dal (S) leader Prajwal Revanna. The single-judge bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit issued the interim order while hearing Preetham's petition to quash the offences registered against him under the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code.

Preetham is facing charges under Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material), 66E (violation of privacy) of the Information Technology Act, and Sections 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking), 354B (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe), and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. However, Justice Dixit maintained that whether these offences are applicable is a matter for investigation, thereby refusing to halt the probe.

“This court is not convinced that it is a case for stalling the ongoing investigation process, therefore the investigation may go on at the discretion of the respondent in normative ways. However, there shall be no arrest and detention of the petitioner unless he cooperates with the investigation process. This order shall not come in the way of any material being discovered by the police,” Live Law reported the bench saying in its order.

According to Live Law, the court has directed Preetham to be present at the doorstep of the investigating officer from 7 am to 9 pm for the purpose of the investigation. Senior Advocate CV Nagesh, appearing for Preetham, argued that the registration of the offence against his client was unjust while Special Public Prosecutor Professor Ravivarma Kumar, along with Additional Public Prosecutor BN Jagadeesha, argued that Preetham had circulated the videos.

Preetham was named as an accused in the fourth FIR registered against Prajwal Revanna. The rape allegations against Revanna surfaced after over 2,900 videos were circulated online, including on social media. On April 28, an FIR was registered against Prajwal Revanna and his father, HD Revanna, under multiple sections of the IPC at the Holenarasipura town police station in Hassan district.

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