Karnataka HC flags defect in HD Revanna’s bail order

Bengaluru, May 31 (UNI) On Friday, the Karnataka High Court observed that the trial court’s order granting bail to Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Revanna in a kidnapping case appeared to be flawed in its interpretation of a legal provision.

Justice Krishna S Dixit, noting this apparent defect, issued an emergent notice for HD Revanna’s response to a bail cancellation petition.

The petition was filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted by the state to investigate kidnapping and sexual abuse allegations against HD Revanna and his son, Prajwal Revanna. The court has scheduled the bail cancellation case for a hearing as soon as the notice is served to Revanna.

Earlier this month, HD Revanna was granted bail in two criminal cases involving allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping. This bail grant was challenged by the SIT in the High Court.

Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) senior advocate Prof Ravivarma Kumar, representing the SIT, argued that the trial court’s order granting bail was perverse. He pointed out that the trial court had erred in applying Section 364A (kidnapping for ransom) of the Indian Penal Code.

After reviewing the trial court’s bail order, Justice Dixit found merit in Kumar’s argument, stating, “This appears to be defective. There appears to be an error apparent on the face of the record.”

Kumar urged the High Court to prioritise the matter, citing the urgency due to the kidnapping of a witness intended to prevent her from filing a complaint. He warned that allowing such actions could deter others from filing criminal complaints.

In response to the arguments, the court listed the matter for priority hearing and issued an emergent notice to the respondent. “Issue emergent notice to the respondent since an arguable case is made out by pointing out a kind of interpretation by the learned judge of the court below on Section 364A IPC… The post immediately after service of notice,” ordered Justice Dixit.

In a related development, Revanna has also filed petitions in the High Court to quash the two FIRs filed against him in both cases. This petition is also set to be heard by Justice Dixit.

The case against Revanna is linked to sexual abuse allegations against his son, Prajwal Revanna. The allegations emerged after over 2,900 videos depicting the sexual assault of several women were circulated on social media and other platforms.

On April 28, an FIR was registered against Prajwal Revanna and HD Revanna under Sections 354A (sexual harassment), 354D (stalking), 506 (criminal intimidation), and 509 (insult to modesty of woman) of the Indian Penal Code at the Holenaraseepur town police station, Hassan district. The complaint was filed by one of the victims, and the case is being probed by a team led by senior IPS officer BK Singh.

Following a political and public outcry, Prajwal Revanna fled to Germany soon after the April 26 Lok Sabha polls in the state. He returned to India on March 31 and was arrested upon arrival.

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