SIT gives clean chit to Jarkiholi in K’taka sex CD case, say sources

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has submitted a ‘B-report’ (closure of case) in connection with the sensational alleged Sex-CD scandal to the Court of Magistrate in Bengaluru giving clean chit to former BJP minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, the main accused in the case, according to high level sources.

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday consented for the submission of the charge sheet in this connection. The SIT has submitted the final report to the Magistrate court as per the instructions of the High Court. The charge sheet submitted by the SIT has acquitted Ramesh Jarkiholi of the charge of rape for want of evidence, police sources said on Saturday.

However, the High Court asked the victim’s counsel to raise objections regarding submission of the charge sheet in the Magistrate court. Political circles in the state are abuzz with the news of acquittal of Ramesh Jarkiholi, one of the main leaders behind installing of the BJP government in the state in 2019 after the collapse of JD(S)-Congress coalition government. Ramesh Jarkiholi was given a cabinet portfolio of his choice by then Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa.

However, he was asked to resign following the leak of alleged private videos. Soon, the case turned into a scandal and hit national headlines.

Jarkiholi, one of the prominent leaders of backward classes from Belagavi, has suddenly become active. Sources say he is lobbying for plum cabinet post once the report of SIT on Sex CD scandal is made public. He met former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Phadnavis in Goa on Thursday.

The BJP has not initiated any action against Ramesh Jarkiholi on party candidate’s defeat in the Legislative Council polls. Jarkiholi openly supported his younger brother Lakhan Jarkiholi, who contested as an independent candidate. BJP narrowly missed a majority in the council by one seat causing severe embarrassment to the state party leadership. The BJP even then did not initiate any action against him considering his clout.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi gave the order allowing SIT to submit the final report on Thursday. Indira Jaising, senior counsel appearing for the victim, argued that the SIT was formed by the state government as per the request of the accused and the content of the report has been leaked to the media, which say that the SIT has filed a B-report (closure of the case for want of evidence etc) on the case. There are questions on the legality of the formation of SIT.

She further stated that they wanted SIT formed through the High Court and sought time to file objections regarding submission of final report of SIT. Senior counsel Ashok Haranahalli, appearing for the SIT sought consent of the court to submit the charge sheet.

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