‘Received transfer threat for remark against ACB official’: Karnataka HC judge lashes out at authorities

News Network
July 4, 2022

Bengaluru, July 4: Karnataka High Court Justice H.P. Sandesh on Monday lashed out at the authorities saying that he received a transfer threat as a result of his remarks against the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

While looking into the bail plea of the accused who was caught red-handed accepting a bribe at the Bengaluru Urban District Commissioner's office, Justice Sandesh said that he is ready to be transferred.

"I am ready for it for the good of people. Your ACB ADGP (Seemanth Kumar Singh) seems to be a powerful person. Somebody has told me this to my colleague. I have been informed about it by a judge. The threat of transfer will be recorded in the order," Justice Sandesh stated.

"I don't fear anyone. I am ready to bell the cat. I have not accumulated property after becoming a judge. I don't care if I lose the position. I am the son of a farmer. I am ready to till the land. I don't belong to any political party. I don't adhere to any political ideology," he remarked.

The counsel for the government in the case informed the bench headed by Justice Sandesh that the information regarding 'B-reports' (closure reports) had already been given to the division bench.

Earlier, the bench had directed the authorities to submit all closure reports filed till date. The court had underlined that the ACB had been turned into a collection centre. Closure reports are filed on those who were caught red-handed taking bribes, the bench stated.

"The second accused in the DC office raid case was appointed on a contract basis for the job of collection of money. You have been filing B-reports on those who were caught red-handed. Why are you not furnishing details to me, while the information has already been given to the division bench?" Justice Sandesh questioned the counsel for ACB.

"Are you protecting the public or tainted persons? The black coat is not for the protection of the corrupt. Corruption has become cancer and it should not reach the 4th stage. The officers are being extorted after threatening them with search warrants," Justice Sandesh noted.

"What should be done when the fence eats up the crop? The service records of ACB ADGP have not been produced before the court. You have reached a stage of issuing threats to the judge. The whole state is mired in corruption. If Vitamin M (money) is there, you (ACB) will protect anyone," he said.

The bench directed the DPAR Secretary to present before the court. The ruling BJP had transferred Bengaluru Urban District Commissioner J. Manjunath following the previous observation by the bench. 

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News Network
August 10,2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 10: The Bharatiya Janata Party state unit president Nalin Kumar Kateel in Karnataka said that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will continue for the full term and the upcoming polls will take place under the guidance of BS Yediyurappa.

“There has been no discussion regarding the change of Chief Minister in the BJP-led government. Basavaraja Bommai will continue as Chief Minister for the full term. The upcoming Vidhan Sabha election will be held Under the guidance of BS Yediyurappa, we are going to face it under the leadership of Bommai,” Nalin Kumar Kateel said.

Reacting to the Congress’s tweet about Bommai’s ouster, he highlighted that Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were facing investigation by the Enforcement Directorate and recently KPCC president D.K.Shivakumar has gotten bail from the court. Kateel alleged that Congress was creating confusion like this to hide it all.

“Congress has tweeted this to save the party by hiding its scandals that have come out, the confusion about the chief ministerial candidate is going on in the Congress, they are discussing to make a Dalit the chief minister of the state,” he said.

“After the Siddaramaotsava, there has been a lot of internal fighting in Congress. Senior politicians like KB Koliwada have created a situation where Siddaramaiah was scolded. The debate about who will be the next Chief Minister is increasing. Congress tweeted that he will become the third chief minister in the state government to cover its internal conflicts, street fights and confusions of the party,” Kateel said.

Asserting that the Congress’ status will be witnessed after the results of the Vidhan Sabha elections, he further said, “Congress will not play the game of creating confusion. Let it resolve its internal confusion first and face the elections together.”

Earlier, Referring to the current political developments in the State and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress in a series of tweets took jibes at the government and said that the state appears set to see a third Chief Minister after Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Bengaluru last week.

The Congress said that the Bommai government, which has not been able to conduct its first-anniversary “Janotsva”, will soon see its end.

The Congress had said that it looks like Bommai is counting the hours to leave the chair and asked Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, “Dear Bommai, the ‘sword fight’ for the CM has been started. What is the reason for the change of CM, is it your administrative failure, a fight between leaders, or is it B.S. Yediyurappa’s anger?”

These comments from Congress came a day after former BJP MLA B. Suresh Gowda claimed that the party’s top leadership was considering replacing Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. He had said, “The Chief Minister might get replaced before Independence Day. There have been talks in the party.”

The Opposition Congress, taking a dig at Bommai, tweeted, “40% government is likely to see a third Chief Minister.” In another tweet, the party said that “the puppet CM Bommai is on his way out.”

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News Network
August 17,2022

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Mangaluru, Aug 17: The National Investigation Agency sources on Wednesday said that 31-year-old Praveen Kumar Nettare, a BJP Yuva Morcha activist in Bellare town in Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada district, was murdered to create terror in the region.

The accused -- Zakir Savanur, Mohammad Shafeeq Bellare, Sheik Saddam Hussain Bellare and Mohammad Harris Bellare -- who are arrested in connection with the incident have revealed this during investigation.

The assailants did not intend to kill Nettare but avenge the killing of Masood and spread terror in the mind of locals, the sources added.

Karnataka police had arrested all the eight persons within 24 hours of the death of Masood on July 19.

The assailants followed Nettare, prepared a plan to hack him to death and executed it on July 26, the sources said.

Nettare's murder had led to the revenge murder of an innocent Muslim youth 23-year-old Mohammad Fazil Mangalpet at Surathkal. Police have cracked the case and arrested all six accused of murder.

Nettare's murder had led to resentment against the ruling BJP by its party workers and activists. The party members have also laid siege to the residence of Karnataka Home Minister causing severe embarrassment to the ruling party.

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News Network
August 9,2022

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Udupi, Aug 9: The Supreme Court of India has disapproved categorically the practice of considering evidence while granting bail, or suspending a sentence, while expunging the observations made by the Karnataka High Court while granting bail to the woman who was convicted of murdering her husband, Bhaskar Shetty, a businessman from Udupi. 

The murder, when it came to light, had made headlines across the country.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and P S Narasimha agreed with the contention, made by advocate Sanjay M Nuli on behalf of the victim’s mother Gulabi Shetty, that the High Court went into the issues of the validity of the ‘Will’, which was completely unrelated to the proceedings before it.

“The High Court has grossly erred in granting suspension of sentence in such a serious crime,” Nuli argued, contending that the high court went on to decide the matter as if it was deciding an appeal.

Concurring with his contention, the bench said: “We are in full agreement with the counsel for the petitioner that the High Court has totally erred in making an elaborate discussion of the evidence. This Court has time and again observed that courts should avoid elaborate appreciation of the evidence at the stage of grant of bail.”

The bench also observed that it was “totally unwarranted” of the high court “to have made a detailed elaboration of an evidence” while granting bail.

“We, therefore, expunge all the observations made by the High Court wherever it has re-appreciated the evidence in detail and clarify that the order would be construed as a prima facie consideration of the evidence for grant of suspension of sentence,” the bench said.

The apex court, however, also said it did not find anything wrong in allowing the application filed by the convict Rajeshwari Shetty, for suspension of her sentence, as the case was based on circumstantial evidence.

The top court also directed the high court's bench, which would hear the appeal on merits, not to take into consideration any of the observations the lower court made in its order on December 23, 2021.

It also requested the high court to expedite the hearing of the appeal.

“In case the petitioner does not cooperate with expeditious disposal of the matter, the High Court would be at liberty to take appropriate steps,” the Supreme Court ruled.

The trial court, on June 8, 2021, had convicted the victim’s wife Rajeshwari, their son, and the wife's alleged paramour for murdering Bhaskar Shetty, who ran a business in Saudi Arabia and owned a hotel in Udupi, and burning his body in a “homa kund” in 2016, and sentenced the three to life imprisonment.

The prosecution claimed that Rajeshwari, along with her 20-year-old son Navneet, threw chili powder into her husband’s eyes and assaulted him with a rod. Thereafter, the two tied the victim’s hands and feet, and poisoned him. Later, they carried the body to another location and burnt it by organising a ‘yagna’. To further destroy the evidence, they threw the bones and remains into a river.

Bhaskar suspected Rajeshwari of adultery and had lodged a police complaint with Manipal police station on July 9, 2016; he was murdered on July 28. The police unearthed the murder while acting upon a missing person’s complaint filed by Gulabi.

The prosecution relied upon a DNA report to conclude the recovered body parts were that of the complainant’s son.

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