HC declines to stay trial court’s order against R. Sampath Raj
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday declined to stay the cognisance of offences against former mayor R. Sampath Raj by the trial court in the case of violence at D.J. Halli and attack on the house of Pulakeshinagar MLA Akhanda Shrinivasa Murthy.
Justice Suraj Govindaraj, before whom the petition filed by Raj came up for hearing, adjourned further hearing till November 12 while allowing the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the city police to file additional documents to demonstrate that the petitioner evaded the investigation and is absconding.
Special Public Prosecutor P. Prasanna Kumar told the court that Raj was in the hospital for seven weeks stating that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and left the hospital without intimating the investigating agency despite issuance of summons asking him to appear for questioning.
However, counsel for Raj has contended that the trial court was wrong in taking cognisance of offence against the petitioner under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act as the petitioner belongs to the SC category. It was also contended on behalf Raj that the trial court had erred in taking cognisance of offence under the Arms Act.
The counsel assured the court that the petitioner would surrender and cooperate with the investigation while requesting the court to stay the cognisance taken against him by the trial court for a short period.
However, the counsel for the CCB said that the petitioner cannot question the trial court’s order without making Raj available for investigation.
While orally declining to pass an interim order staying the trial court’s order of taking cognisance, the High Court adjourned further hearing till November 12 to enable to the CCB counsel to produce additional documents.