Former Karnataka Minister and Sleaze CD case accused Ramesh Jarkiholi on Monday reportedly tested Covid positive and was admitted in hospital.
He was taken to the hospital in Gokak taluka in this Karnataka district after he developed breathing problems late Sunday night.
The BJP leader has failed to appear before the Special Investigation Team probing the case since Friday, citing health reasons.
His lawyer Shyam Sundar had said that Jarkiholi had developed a fever and cough. Testing Covid positive now, he may be advised to be in isolation for a few days.
“Jarkiholi is in the ICU as he has breathing problems, his oxygen level is low and he has low blood pressure. He is also diabetic. He is under observation and we have advised him to rest for the next three to four days,” Gokak taluk hospital’s Dr Ravindra told reporters.
The doctor said that the 60-year-old legislator was also diagnosed with low saturation and blood pressure levels.
He also added that his cook and driver have also tested Covid positive and they have also been admitted to hospital.
Jarkiholi had travelled to Maharashtra’s Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur on March 30, even as the SIT was waiting to interrogate him.
He has failed to attend two interrogation sessions – one of them was scheduled for Monday and the other one earlier on Friday.
The BJP leader had, however, deputed his counsel with a letter saying that he was not well and will appear before the investigating team once he has recovered.
The Gokak MLA, who was the state Water Resources Minister, was forced to resign on March 3 after visuals of him in a compromising position with a woman surfaced on March 2 evening on news channels.
The woman in the Sleaze CD filed a complaint and soon the police registered a FIR against Jarkiholi, who was accused him of raping her twice after promising her a government job.
The woman in the Sleaze CD has recorded her statement before the magistrate in a special court in Bengaluru. Jarkiholi has maintained that the videos are fakes.
Meanwhile, the woman’s legal counsellor, Jagadesh K. N. Mahadev told reporters that he suspects that the BJP leader was trying to avoid arrest but he cannot do it for a long time. “Law has its own process, it will catch up with him soon,” he said.
Jarkiholi’s lawyer Shyam Sundar countered, saying that his client was neither misleading the court nor the SIT that is probing the case. “My client had been co-operating to his fullest capacity,” he told reporters.