HC Takes up Appeal against Lower Court’s Clean Chit to Raghaveshwara Swamiji

Bengaluru: The state high court on Thursday took up for hearing a higher appeal filed by the CID investigation officer, against a city civil and sessions court order clearing Shri Raghaveshwara Bharati of Hosanagara Shri Ramachandrapura math of charges of sexual assault on a former troupe vocalist.

A single-judge bench presided over by Justice A V Chandrashekhar ordered that the Swamiji be issued an immediate notice and that all relevant documents be produced.

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In his order of March 31 earlier this year, sessions judge G B Mudigowder had cleared the accused of all the charges. Now the state government has sought the striking down of this order.

The sessions judge had ruled that there was no evidence to prove that the accused had committed the sexual assault. But the CID has argued that there was evidence which had not been taken cognizance of by the judge. It was against law to declare the accused innocent before the trial could take place. Hence the order needed to be reviewed, said the CID.

PIL seeking dislodgement

In a related development, Edurkala Ishwar Bhat and five others have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the state high court seeking the following:

1. Shri Raghaveshwara Bharati be dislodged from the seat of Shri Ramachandrapura math on the grounds of misuse of power, tax evasion and sexual assault charges.

2. The math management should be taken over and an administrative officer be appointed.

3. All cases including tax evasion be thoroughly investigated.

4. The government be directed to appoint a committee to choose a new head to the math.

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