Currently, the raging topic of discussion over TV & print media, social media and social circle is the news with regards to a complaint by one person named, Mr. Dinesh Kallahalli claims to be the President of “Naagrika Hakku Horaata Samiti”. He had filed a complaint with the Inspector of Police, Cubbon Park Police Station about a CD purporting to be of a sex scandal of one cabinet minister of State of Karnataka, who later resigned on the same issue.
A detailed and in-depth perusal of his two-page complaint reveals the fact of allegations of offences of sexual acts and sexual intercourse with a lady by the then Minister of Water Resources, Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi so as to satisfy his sexual desires by exploiting his superior position as one of the Cabinet Ministers of Government of Karnataka which allegedly attracts offence u/s 376C of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
As this initial complaint disclosed serious cognizable offences u/s 376C of IPC and several other offences, the Inspector of Police of Cubbon Park PS ought to have registered an FIR before proceeding further for investigation. Instead, the entire Karnataka State Police machinery was pressed into the action of searching the whereabouts of the victim, thus violating the Amended Criminal Law of 2013, famously known as Nirbhaya Act, where the police were duty-bound to record and register the information of offence under few sections of IPC that relate to the offences against women and of course, in blatant violation of the orders passed by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India in Lalita Kumari Vs Govt of U.P. (2014) 2 SCC 1, where the police are duty-bound to register an FIR in case the complaint disclosed cognizable offence.
It also violated several decisions of the High Court of Karnataka (Reportable Judgement in Criminal Petition No. 15941/2012 C/W 15852/2012, dated 05.02.2013, High Court of Karnataka and several others) which clearly postulate that any investigation without filing an FIR is invalid. But, the entire gamut of the investigation was aimed at intimidating the initial complainant himself as he was summoned several times to the concerned police station on the pretext of the investigation while the accused was never issued even a notice to appear before the concerned police station just because the accused was a powerful cabinet minister in the Government of Karnataka.
This is nothing but a total rewriting of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) where the complainant is treated like an accused while the accused is treated as though he is the victim. On a perusal of the withdrawal of the Initial Complaint by the said complainant, it is quite clear that he was under tremendous pressure due to several threats to him and questions raised against the victimised woman in the said Initial Complaint. If the reasons
quoted by the complainant in the said withdrawal letter was not true, an FIR would have been filed by now against the then Cabinet Minister, Mr Rameshn Jarkiholi and investigation would have proceeded.
But, no FIR was filed against Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi. Proceeding further, a letter is written to the Home Minister of the Government of Karnataka by Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi, dated 09/03/2021 where he requests for the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of top officers to investigate against the Initial Complaint on a pretext of conspiracy to
defame him and destroy his political career. Based on this letter by the accused, Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi, the Home Minister proceeds to issue an Instruction Note with No: HLPALMO/542/2021, dated 09/03/2021 to the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City Police to form an SIT so as to investigate the allegations made by the accused himself thus throwing all basic principles of criminal jurisprudence and principles of natural justice into the dustbin.
An Order was immediately issued by the Department of Police, Government of Karnataka, dated 11/03/2021 signed by the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City Police with a
copy to the DG & IGP, Karnataka State Police. If one observes the tearing hurry with which this Order forming the SIT was issued, it smacks of prejudiced and biased intentions of the Government of Karnataka. This order issued by any Home Minister of a State is possible only if he carries a presumptuous assumption that a powerful Cabinet Minister can never be treated as an accused.
The promptness with which the Home Minister and the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City Police acted upon the letter by the accused Mr Ramesh Jarkiholi and formed an SIT of top officers of the Karnataka State Police as compared to non-registration of FIR and forcing the initial complainant to withdraw the Initial Complaint is unreasonable and illegal. Such blatant acts of violations of laws of the land exhibit gross abuse of power by the powerful ruling political class with the top brass of the Karnataka State Police machinery meekly surrendering to the whims and fancies of the political class to scuttle the investigation into the offences of sexual harassment against the then Cabinet Minister.
According to the various decisions of the Supreme Court of India (Anju Chaudhary Vs State of U.P., (2013) 6 SCC 384) and several High Courts, an accused has no right to be heard before filing an FIR against him. In this case, just because the accused is a powerful Cabinet Minister, he was not only heard, but the police machinery was misused to pressurise the initial complainant to withdraw the initial complaint and constitute an SIT of top officers to investigate the allegations of conspiracy to defame and harm politically based on a letter by the accused powerful Cabinet Minister.
This setting up of an SIT itself on the words of an accused exhibit the fact that though India is a Democracy, such abuse of power, blatant violations of law, prejudiced actions against the common man and in favour of a few powerful the political class of people mark India as a Democracy only with elections and India is no longer a democracy but an ‘Electoral Autocracy’ as recently declared by a Swedish Institute called V Dem Institute.
- Why no questions are raised against the top brass of the Karnataka State Police
when they are openly flouting the Nirbhaya Act and violating the oath taken
upon while assuming their offices to the Constitution?
- Are the top brass of Karnataka State Police more obedient to the Government in
Power rather than to the Constitution of India and other prevailing laws?
- Why is the top brass of Karnataka State Police who had a stellar record of
performance till now falling to such lows by not following the law of the land?
- Is the BJP government in Karnataka unaware of PM Modi’s slogan of ‘Beti
Bachao, Beti Padao’ or is it just a mere slogan?