Police to include ‘rape’ charge in the FIR against seer
The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the police not to arrest Sri Raghaveshwara Bharati swami of Ramachandrapura Math until further orders, in connection with a case of alleged sexual harassment against the seer.
Justice K.N. Phaneendra issued oral direction to the State Public Prosecutor (SPP) in this regard, after hearing a petition filed by the seer challenging the criminal case registered against him by Girinagar police based on a complaint filed by the victim’s daughter on August 27.
The seer’s counsel termed the complaint as “false” and contended that “efforts were being made to tarnish the image of the math and the seer”. Besides, some “highhanded persons were also making attempts” to ensure that the seer does not complete his Chaturmasa rituals, which began on July 12 and ends on September 9.
However, SPP M. Narayana Reddy orally submitted to the court that the police have already recorded the statement of the victim, who has alleged that “she was raped by the seer many times since 2010.”
Seeking an interim direction of stay of the criminal proceedings, the counsel for the seer also contended that the “false” complaint was filed as “revenge” after the math lodged a criminal complaint against complainant’s father and mother (the victim), who were former devotees of the math, for allegedly blackmailing the seer.
The seer’s counsel also pointed out that the High Court had recently imposed fine on some persons who had tried to extort money from the math by filling Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions in which false allegations were made against the math.
It was pointed out to the court that the seer fears arrest from the police, who have already initiated action in this regard under Section 41A of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC), based on the “false” complaint.