Bengaluru: Sexual Assault Charge against Raghaveshwara – Yet Another Judge Recuses Himself

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Bengaluru: After a string of writs, counter-petitions, objections and stay orders, the case of sexual assault against Shri Raghaveshwara Bharati of Hosanagara Math is set for further delays.

Two judges of the state high court, Justices Phaneendra and Ramamohan Reddy had recused themselves at two different stages. When the case came up for hearing on Monday, Jan 10, Justice N Kumar too announced his decision to withdraw from the bench.


When the question of medical examination of the Swamiji had come up in November last, Justice Phaneendra had recused himself, leaving Justice Venugopal Gowda to deliver the interim verdict.

Monday saw the case come up before the special division bench consisting of Justices N Kumar and B Veerappa. Justice Kumar announced his decision to withdraw, with an appeal that the case be transferred to any bench that he was no a part of. He instructed the registrar general of the court to pass on the files to the Chief Justice.

Interestingly, as in the earlier two cases, he has not cited any reason for his action. A retired judge of the supreme court, when asked for his opinion, said that having taken an oath of dispensation of justice without fear or favour, a judge was duty-bound to hear both sides and dispose of the case. That being his responsibility, in the event of a conflict of interests, it was advisable to bring it in the open, he said. Such instances have taken place in the past, he reminded.

Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde feels that a judge need not offer any reason for backing out. Since it is a sensitive issue, the three honourable judges have stepped aside so that no suspicions or misgivings would arise in the future. Hence it was a correct move, he says.

Case history:

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