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Karnataka High Court Refuses To Quash Kidnapping Case Against Private Secretary Of Chief Minister.

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
4 Feb 2021 2:37 PM GMT
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Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court on February 1, dismissed a petition filed by N R Santosh, personal secretary to the Chief Minister, seeking to quash a quash of kidnapping case registered against him in 2018, by one K.S. Eshwarappa, who works as advisor to the Opposition Leader.

A single bench of Justice H P Sandesh while dismissing the petition filed by Santosh said "It is not a fit case to exercise the powers under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. and truthfulness of the statement of witnesses has to be ascertained only after the trial and this Court cannot sitting under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. ascertains the truthfulness of the statement of witnesses."

Case Details:

The complainant alleged that on May 11, 2017, while he was travelling from his friend Jagadeesh's house to Malleshwaram in his vehicle, a car came from behind and dashed his car. When he stepped out of the car to check if there were any damages, three people asked him to come and check if something had happened to the front portion of his car. At that time, one person held him tightly from behind and tried to make him sit inside the car.

A person sitting in the driver seat had kept the car on and remaining 5-6 people hit the informant and tried to push him inside the car and the informant objected to this and fought back and when they failed to push the informant inside the car, he fell on the road and started shouting and at this point of time, when the public started gathering, the miscreants pushed him outside the car and fled away.

Based on the complaint, the police registered a case under sections 143, 147, 323, 324, 365, 511, 331, 120B READ WITH SECTION 149 OF IPC.

Petitioner's submission:

It was contended by the accused that there is no specific overt-act attributed against him. It is also his case that there is no material against the petitioner that he was involved in the commission of the offence. The Sessions Judge, without application of mind to the allegations in the charge-sheet, both original and supplementary, without recording any satisfaction as to whether any case is made out by the prosecution against the petitioner, in a mechanical manner, taken cognizance twice, which is bad in law, impermissible and unsustainable.

It was also argued that there are no allegations in the complaint against the petitioner and even in 161 statements of the witnesses. Moreover, the witnesses, who remotely mentioned the name of the petitioner are not direct witnesses, but in the nature of alleged hear-say witnesses, whose evidence will not render any support to the prosecution.

Prosecution opposed the plea:

It was submitted that CDR is collected in respect of this petitioner and in the said CDR there was a call between the petitioner and the accused and in respect of the second phone also CDR was collected, but there were no call contacts between the petitioner and the accused. When conspiracy has been invoked against the petitioner that he indulged in employing other accused persons to kidnap the informant and secure the CD, the same has to be adjudicated in trial.

Complainant argued:

The informant contend that this petitioner was working as a Private Secretary to the present Chief Minister and the present Chief Minister had written a letter to the Investigating Officer not to take any action against him and this petitioner is a very influential person and he has been protected. It was also his contention that a supplementary charge-sheet was filed with regard to inventory which has been done subsequent to the filing of the chargesheet. He also submits that photographs and videographs are produced and this petitioner and other accused persons were together and it requires the trial and without the trial, there cannot be any decision with regard to the involvement of this petitioner.

Court said:

The court went through the chargesheet filed by the police and relying on the Supreme Court judgment in the case of GULAM SARBAR v. STATE OF BIHAR (NOW JHARKHAND) reported in (2014) 3 SUPREME COURT CASES 401, said "It is clear that even though there was no direct evidence when the criminal conspiracy is alleged against this petitioner, it is settled law that the same is generally hatched in secrecy and direct evidence is difficult to obtain or access. The criminal conspiracy has to be proved by collecting the material through the circumstantial evidence. Hence, it requires trial."

It added "At this juncture, the Court cannot invoke Section 482 of Cr.P.C, when the specific allegation is made against this petitioner that he had conspired with accused No.2. It is also important to note that the call details of this petitioner and accused was also collected and on record it discloses that there were two calls between the accused and this petitioner prior to the incident."

The court opined "Having perused the materials available on record, I do not find any force in the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the proceedings initiated against accused No.1 has to be quashed."

Case Details

Title : N.R. SANTOSH And STATE OF KARNATAKA

Case No: CRIMINAL PETITION No.2327/2019

Date of Order: February 1, 2021.

Coram: Justice H P Sandesh

Appearance: Senior Advocate SANDESH J. CHOUTA, a/w Advocate CHANDRASHEKAR R.P for petitioner.

Advocate K.S. ABHIJITH, FOR R-1,

N.S. VINAY, R2-PARTY-IN-PERSON


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