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JD(S) MLA H D Revanna granted bail in kidnap case by Bengaluru court

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NewsDrum Desk
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Bengaluru, May 13 (PTI) A Special Court for Elected Representatives on Monday granted bail to JD(S) MLA H D Revanna in connection with a kidnap case.

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The 66-year-old former Minister was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in an alleged case of abduction of a woman, linked to the allegations of sexual abuse of women by his son and Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna, on May 4.

The special court judge Santhosh Gajanan Bhat heard the matter and granted conditional bail to Revanna.

His three-day police custody ended on May 8, following which he was produced in the XVII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, which remanded him to seven days’ judicial custody, till May 14.

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The case was registered following a complaint by the woman's son, who alleged that his mother was sexually abused by Revanna's son Prajwal.

The woman was allegedly abducted to prevent her from testifying against Prajwal, police sources have said.

The SIT has also secured the custody of Revanna's confidant Sathish Babanna in connection with the case.

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The SIT arrested Babanna on May 3 and subsequently rescued the woman allegedly from a farmhouse in Mysuru’s Hunsur taluk on May 4, hours before the arrest of Revanna from his father and former PM H D Deve Gowda's residence in Bengaluru’s Padmanabhanagar.

While Revanna engaged senior counsel C V Nagesh for his bail plea, Special Public Prosecutor Jaina Kothari and Additional Public Prosecutor Ashok Naik argued on behalf of SIT.

Nagesh claimed that there is a political conspiracy behind Revanna’s arrest and the victim has recently said in a video that she has not been abducted by Revanna or his family.

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Kothari and Naik countered it by saying, SIT recorded statements both under CrPC sections 161 (examination of witnesses by police) and 164 (statements recorded by Magistrate) and the victim has given a statement against Revanna.

The SIT advocates also argued that the bail application was moved when the accused was already in custody and hence the matter is not maintainable.

However, the Judge differed with this argument and said “.....you please argue on the merit of the case.” Nagesh further added that the victim’s son lodged the complaint saying his mother had not come home and he also mentioned that she had gone with the known individual on a motorbike. “How is it interpreted as kidnap? It is not a case of kidnap." Naik said that the victim and her family have been threatened by the accused and the victim needs police protection.

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After a brief adjournment, Nagesh argued that the sections invoked by SIT are invalid and cited a few previous court verdicts on kidnapping cases.

Nagesh said, "SIT has not furnished a single evidence against my client to establish that he abducted the victim. There is no demand for money or valuables or any sort of force against the victim. 364A (Kidnapping for ransom) cannot be invoked in this case." He further added that cases against Prajwal Revanna have got nothing to do with Revanna and he requested to grant his client Revanna immediate bail relief.

He also targeted the SIT counsels and asked "Why two special public prosecutors appearing for bail objection?" However, Kothari clarified that they aren't repeating the argument and one is adding to the other argument.

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Later, Kothari requested the court to make further submission to counter Nagesh's argument. But, Nagesh objected to this saying, "If SIT gets another round of argument, I should also be given an opportunity to counter it." Kothari pointed out that there is some misinformation in Nagesh's argument. "Victim is not a relative of H D Revanna as stated by CV Nagesh and 161 statements before the Investigation Officer have been recorded on May 5th and not later." To this, Judge Bhat said, "161 and 164 statements are furnished before the court in both remand applications." SIT sought time to furnish written documents related to this, but was turned down by the Judge and he reserved the order at 5 pm on Monday and granted bail to Revanna.

The 33-year-old JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna, who is grandson of JD(S) patriarch Deve Gowda, is facing charges of multiple instances of sexually abusing women. The scandal has raised a political storm with the ruling Congress and BJP-JD(S) engaged in a slugfest.

Prajwal Revanna reportedly left the country on April 27, a day after the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka was held, and an Interpol Blue Corner Notice has been issued against him in an effort to bring him back.

He was BJP-JD(S) alliance's joint candidate from Hassan Lok Sabha segment, which went to polls in the first phase.

While the Congress government has formed a SIT to probe the cases, the BJP and JD(S) -- NDA partners -- have demanded that it be handed over to the CBI, and action against those behind the circulation of explicit videos. PTI COR KSU RS ROH

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