38.6c New Delhi, India, Friday, June 21, 2024
Judiciary

Karnataka High Court Grants Bail To Gauri Lankesh Murder Accused Mohan Nayak. Here’s Why [Read Order]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      09 December, 2023 02:10 PM      0 Comments
Karnataka High Court Grants Bail To Gauri Lankesh Murder Accused Mohan Nayak Heres Why

The Karnataka High Court recently granted bail to an accused in the murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead in 2017. 


“From a perusal of the statements recorded under Section 161 Cr.PC of the 23 charge sheet witnesses who have spoken about the role of the petitioner in the present case, it is seen that none of these witnesses have stated that the petitioner was a part of the meeting of the accused persons, wherein the accused had conspired to murder Gouri Lankesh. Most of the aforesaid charge 26 sheet witnesses have only spoken about the petitioner taking a house on rent at Kumbalagodu in the outskirts of Bengaluru”, Justice S Vishwajith Shetty stated, while granting bail to Mohan Nayak. 


Interestingly, this is the first time that bail has been granted to an accused in connection with the murder of Lankesh by two assailants outside her home in Bengaluru. 


The petitioner had filed bail application before the Special Court, which was dismissed on October 25, 2018. Then, he had approached this Court which was also dismissed in 2019. Subsequently, the petitioner filed an application seeking statutory bail under Section 167(2) of Code of Criminal Procedure and the Special Court dismissed it on 2019. Even after this, several attempts were made by the petitioner to secure bail. 


What were the arguments made before the Karnataka High Court?

Before the Court, the petitioner argued that he had been in custody for more than five years. There are a total of 527 charge sheet witnesses and only 90 witnesses have been examined till date. The chances of trial being completed in the immediate near future is not there. The allegation against the petitioner is that he had conspired along with the other accused persons to commit the murder of Gouri Lankesh. The material on record would go to show that the petitioner was not a party to the alleged conspiracy to commit the murder and in the meetings which were held by the other accused persons, in furtherance of such conspiracy, the petitioner was not present. 


It was further submitted that the confession statement of the accused persons has been recorded in violation of the requirement of Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act, 2000, and so, the same is not admissible.


Rejecting these submissions, the Special Public Prosecutor for the Respondent seriously opposed the petition. He submitted that the earlier bail petition filed by the petitioner has been already dismissed by the Court. Also, there is no change in the circumstances or in law, and therefore, the petitioner cannot argue the case on merits afresh. The voluntary statement of the petitioner and the other accused persons were recorded prior to invoking the provisions of COCA, and therefore, there is no merit in the petitioner’s contention, it was argued. 


Court’s verdict

After considering these submissions, the Court noted that 527 charge sheet witnesses, only 90 witnesses have been examined. In 2019, the High Court had directed the Trial Court to expedite the trial. 


“Though charges were framed in the present case on 30.10.2021, for the last more than two years, only 90 witnesses have been examined. There are more than 400 charge sheet witnesses who are yet to be examined in the case. Even if it is assumed that all the witnesses who are cited in the charge sheet may not be examined in the case, considering the fact that only 90 witnesses have been examined for the last more than two years, it can be safely presumed that any time soon, the trial of the case may not be completed”. 


Further, the Court noted that though the petitioner is alleged to be a member of the syndicate committing organized crime, the material on record shows that he is not arrayed as co- accused in any of the cases registered against the other accused persons as well. 
The Court also highlighted that the petitioner’s confession statement was recorded prior to sanction being accorded for invoking the provisions of COCA against the accused persons. “Section 19 of the COCA may therefore not be applicable to the confessions made by the accused persons. Even otherwise, the requirements of Section 19 have not been complied in the present case”. 


So, these grounds, the Court proceeded to grant bail to the petitioner with certain conditions.

 

[Read Order]



Share this article:

About:

Explore Comprehensive Legal Reporting with LawStreet Journal: Your Go-To Source for Supreme Court an...Read more

Follow:
TwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Karnataka High Court Grants Bail To Gauri Lankesh Murder Accused Mohan Nayak. Here’s Why [Read Order] Karnataka High Court Grants Bail To Gauri Lankesh Murder Accused Mohan Nayak. Here’s Why [Read Order]

The Karnataka High Court recently granted bail to an accused in the murder of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead in 2017.

Gauri Lankesh Murder: SC notice to accused on Karnataka’s plea to cancel bail Gauri Lankesh Murder: SC notice to accused on Karnataka’s plea to cancel bail

SC examines Karnataka's plea against bail to Gauri Lankesh's accused, Mohan Nayak, with hearing set for April 9 amid trial delays.

TRENDING NEWS

gujarat-hc-judge-to-watch-maharaj-to-decide-plea-for-stay-on-release
Trending Judiciary
Gujarat HC judge to watch 'Maharaj', to decide plea for stay on release

Gujarat HC to watch Junaid Khan’s movie “Maharaj” to decide on release stay plea. The film’s release was postponed due to concerns from Pushtimarg sect devotees.

20 June, 2024 12:26 PM
sc-orders-cbi-probe-into-neet-ug-irregularities-stays-hc-proceedings-while-refusing-to-stay-counselling
Trending Judiciary
SC orders CBI probe into NEET UG irregularities, stays HC proceedings while refusing to stay counselling

The Supreme Court suspends NEET UG 2024 HC proceedings, refuses to stay counselling; issues notice for CBI probe into exam irregularities.

20 June, 2024 01:43 PM

TOP STORIES

india-tv-journalist-rajat-sharma-sues-congress-leaders-for-defamation
Trending Judiciary
India TV journalist Rajat Sharma sues Congress leaders for defamation

Veteran journalist Rajat Sharma sues Congress leaders for defamation in Delhi HC, alleging tweets damaged his 40-year reputation. Justice Krishna reserves order.

15 June, 2024 12:09 PM
miscreants-scribble-ram-on-goat-headed-for-bakri-eid-sacrifice-gau-gyan-foundation-demands-action
Trending Crime, Police And Law
Miscreants scribble "Ram" on goat headed for Bakri Eid sacrifice, 'Gau Gyan Foundation' demands action

Miscreants scribble 'Ram' on goat headed for Bakri Eid sacrifice in Mumbai, animal welfare organization Gau Gyan Foundation demands police action for hurting religious sentiments.

15 June, 2024 05:49 PM
offence-committed-outside-india-by-indian-citizen-requires-centres-sanction-us-188-crpc-for-trial-in-india-kerala-hc
Trending Judiciary
Offence committed outside India by Indian citizen requires centre’s sanction U/S 188 CrPC for trial in India: Kerala HC [Read Order]

Kerala HC quashes proceedings against a husband for cruelty committed in Australia, citing lack of Centre’s sanction under Section 188 CrPC for trial in India.

15 June, 2024 06:06 PM
women-including-housewife-approach-ncw-against-controversial-ips-officer-gyaneshwar-singh
Trending Crime, Police And Law
Women, including housewife, approach NCW against controversial IPS officer Gyaneshwar Singh

Two women approach NCW against controversial IPS officer Gyaneshwar Singh, citing harassment for tweets based on news reports about his involvement in high-profile cases.

17 June, 2024 03:10 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email