Govt urged to appeal seer’s acquittal in rape case
Bengaluru, Apr 05, 2016, DHNS
Samaana Manaska Sanghatane, a consortium of like-minded organisations, on Monday urged the state government to file an appeal in the rape case against Raghaveshwara Bharati, seer of Ramachandrapura mutt, at the earliest. The forum demanded that the CID be directed to reinvestigate the case, in which the seer, who was the accused, was discharged by a city court a few days ago.
“The discharge order (para-82) states that when a woman develops a relationship with another man, then it is illicit relationship. Referring to the statement of the victim, the order stated that when the victim’s daughter did not resist the relationship, it means the relationship had the consent of the family. The discharge order has continuously accused the victim of terming an illicit relationship as rape. Surprisingly, the discharge order does not talk about IPC Section 508 pressed by the Criminal Investigation Department,” K S Vimala of the Sanghatane said.
The women activists said though the victim also had an opportunity to appeal against the discharge order, the State government must move the High Court immediately. “IPC Section 376 (rape) and the Justice Verma commission advocate the need for in camera trial of a rape case preferably by a lady judge. The state government had been claiming that special courts have been constituted to try cases involving crimes against women. However, in this case, the accused was discharged without a trial,” another activist said.
A court had discharged Raghaveshwara of rape charges levelled against him by a Rama Katha singer. The victim had claimed that the seer has sexually abused her repeatedly during the Rama Katha discourses across the country since 2011. The CID had filed the charge sheet against the seer under IPC Sections 376 (2) (f) and 376 (2) (n) for rape and 508 for citing divine displeasure.