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Arrest Warrant Issued against Yediyurappa under POCSO Act

Arrest Warrant Issued against Yediyurappa under POCSO Act

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 13: A Bengaluru court has issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against BJP leader and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa after he failed to appear for questioning in a case under Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The First Fast Track Court (POCSO court) has issued the arrest warrant against Mr Yediyurappa in the case registered against him on March 14 under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012. Mr Yediyurappa has now sought relief from the Karnataka high court seeking anticipatory bail. The matter will be heard on Friday.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Karnataka police had earlier issued a notice, asking Mr Yediyurappa to appear for questioning on Wednesday. The 81-year-old responded that he had to leave for Delhi for political commitments and said he can appear before the investigators on Monday.

Mr Yediyurappa has been booked under POCSO Act and IPC sections relating to sexual harassment after a woman alleged that the senior BJP leader had sexually assaulted her 17-year-old daughter who had come to him seeking his help, along with her mother, on February 2 at his residence in Dollars Colony in Bengaluru. A police case was registered on March 14 and hours after the Sadashivanagar police registered the case, the Karnataka Director General of Police Alok Mohan issued an order transferring it to the CID for further investigation with immediate effect. The 54-year-old woman, who had levelled the charge against Yediyurappa, died at a private hospital here last month, due to lung cancer.

Mr Yediyurappa has denied the allegation and said he would fight legally. In his latest letter to the CID, he has said he would cooperate in the investigation. The incumbent Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara had earlier in the day said Mr Yediyurappa may be arrested if necessary. “If necessary, they (CID) will arrest. I can’t say (if) it is necessary, CID has to say it. If they feel it is necessary, they will do it,” the minister said.

In April, the CID had collected Mr Yediyurappa’s voice sample for investigation. The BJP veteran has approached court against the FIR.

Mr Yediyurappa is a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board and the Central Election Committee. According to the Travel Plan (TP) issued by his office, Mr Yediyurappa is in New Delhi.

Following a writ petition by the victim in the case in the High Court of Karnataka questioning why the accused is yet to be arrested, the CID issued summons to the former chief minister to appear for questioning on June 12. Mr Yediyurappa responded that he was in New Delhi and would appear for questioning on June 17. This prompted the CID to move an application seeking an arrest warrant against the former chief minister, in the Fast Track Court 1 in Bengaluru. The court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Mr. Yediyurappa on Thursday.


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