In an alleged sex CD case, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed by the victim's father on Monday (31 May 2021). The case involves the former Karnataka Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi.
The court dismissed the Habeas corpus petition, after the victim herself appeared before the court via video conference and stated that including her parents,she does not wish to interact with anyone at the moment. She further stated that in due course and after the 'dust' settles she will interact with them .
The father of the victim had approached the court. He had claimed that his daughter had been detained in an undisclosed location unlawfully, and that he has reason to suspect the complicity of the 2nd respondent Special Investigating Team (formed to investigate the case) and an advocate.
SIT's counsel, Advocate Kiran Jawali and Advocate P.Prasanna Kumar, contended that the allegations made against their clients are unsubstantiated and the allegations are made without any justification.
Furthermore, it was claimed that on 29 May, 2021, SIT personnel visited the so-called 'detenue"s' residence , and their interaction with her prima facie shows that she has been residing in the said place on her own volition and that she chooses to be incommunicado qua her parents, for her own discrete reasons.
In order to make the victim speak to the Court via WhatsApp vedio call, the court directed the Registrar General to immediately visit the detainee's residence and make her speak to the court, because the parents expressed concerns about their daughter's safety and he denied the SIT's submissions .
The Registrar General, T.G. Shivashankare Gowda, accompanied by Joint Registrar K.S.Varalakshmi, visited the 'detenue's' residence and interacted with her. An interaction was organized with her, and a video conferencing session between her and the court.
After speaking with the victim, a division bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur stated:
"The story emerging from the petition as to forcible detention is not true and that the version asserted by the respondents that petitioners daughter is voluntarily residing incognito is true."
"During the course of interaction, the petitioner's daughter X, repeated thrice that she doesn't desire to interact with anyone, including her parents till the 'dust settles down," the court added.
"Since X is an engineering graduate and obviously major by age; she appears to have worldly knowledge, enough to decide where to reside and with whom to interact; this Court, therefore, has little say in the matter, whatever the petitioner-submission," the court noted in its order.
"Disposal of this writ petition shall not come in the way of Miss X, seeking from the State and its instrumentalities, security of life and protection of property, if necessary," the court clarified.
"In the above circumstances, we are of the considered opinion that no relief need be granted in this petition, and accordingly the petition is disposed of, costs having been made easy," it concluded.