Bangalore: Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swami of Ramachandrapura Mutt missed the date with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Monday, in connection with the rape case against him. The CID had given notice to the seer on Sunday to appear before the investigating officer within 24 hours of receiving the notice.
The seer had reportedly started from his Mutt at Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district on Monday morning to appear before the CID police.
However, he did not turn up till late in the evening. A senior CID official said that the seer sent a message through one of the Mutt staffers in Bangalore, stating that he will appear before the investigating officer on Tuesday.
The Mutt’s Girinagar branch secretary Mohan Bhaskar Hegde told reporters that the seer would arrive in the City late on Monday night and appear before the police the next day.
“The pontiff could not appear before the police due to unavoidable circumstances. He will co-operate with the investigation and appear before the police on Tuesday,” he said.
Meanwhile, a City Sessions Court granted the pontiff interim anticipatory bail, in connection with a case of abetment to suicide.
Sources said that the pontiff did not appear before the court since the anticipatory bail application, filed on Monday, had not come up for hearing.
The case pertains to the suicide of Shyam Prasad Shastri, younger brother of the businessman who was arrested for allegedly blackmailing the seer. The businessman’s wife had accused the seer of raping her.
The Puttur police had registered the case of abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation in this regard, based on a complaint by Shyam Prasad Shastri’s wife.
In the complaint, she had alleged that Shastri received calls from Raghaveshwara’s followers. She had alleged that these calls drove Shastri to suicide as he shot himself in his house. The Puttur police had registered a case under Sections 306 (abetment to commit suicide) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC. This case was also transferred to the CID, along with the rape case.
Meanwhile on Monday evening, the sessions court granted conditional interim anticipatory bail to the seer with a surety and Rs 5-lakh bond.
The counsel who appeared for the pontiff said that the court granted interim bail for 20 days. Last week, the court had granted interim bail for 30 days to the seer in the rape case.