Mangaluru, Dec 5: In a huge relief for journalist-activist Naveen Soorinje, who was accused of not trying to stop the assailants during 2012 Manglauru home stay attack, the local sessions court has discharged him from all charges.
The development comes nearly five years after the State government led by the then-chef minister Siddaramaiah decided to withdraw the case against Mr Soorinje, who was made accused no. 44 in the case.
Mr Soorinje, who was a then a television reporter and Sharan, a cameraman had filmed and exposed the alleged assault and sexual harassment of young men and women by Hindu Jagaran Vedike activists at Morning Mist homestay in Padil on July 20, 2012.
Based on the complaint by one of the victims, the police arrested 44 persons, including Mr Soorinje and Mr Sharan, who were lodged in the prison for a few weeks. After the police filed charge-sheet, the government decided to withdraw the case against Mr Soorinje.
Soon after, the public prosecutor filed an application under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code for withdrawal of prosecution against Mr. Soorinje before the 2nd Additional District and Sessions Court in the city. The judge sought objections of other accused on the application and adjourned the hearing for several dates. Meanwhile, the case was transferred from the 2nd Additional Court to the 6th Additional District and Sessions Court in February 2016.
As the accused failed to file their objections, the judge heard arguments of Mr. Soorinje’s counsel Dinesh Hegde Ullepady and of the prosecutor Judith O.M. Crasta on December 21, 2017. The judge discharged Mr. Soorinje from the case on January 4, 2018.
Home stay attack: Court discharges journalist Naveen Soorinje from all charges