Relief for HD Revanna, Bengaluru Court Grants Bail in Kidnapping Case

HD Revanna

In Bengaluru, a Special Court for Elected Representatives has granted bail to JD(S) MLA H D Revanna in connection with a kidnapping case.

Revanna was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in an alleged case of abduction of a woman linked to the allegations of sexual abuse of women by his son and Hassan MP Prajwal Revanna on May 4.

The special court judge Santhosh Gajanan Bhat granted conditional bail to the 66-year-old former minister.

His three-day police custody ended on May 8, following which he was produced in the XVII Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, which remanded him to seven days’ judicial custody, till May 14, 2024.

Alleged Sexual Abuse by Prajwal Revanna

The case arose from a complaint by the woman’s son, alleging sexual abuse by Revanna’s son, Prajwal. Police sources claim the woman was abducted to prevent her testimony against Prajwal. The SIT has also detained Revanna’s confidant, Sathish Babanna, in connection with the case. Babanna was arrested on May 3, and the woman was rescued from a farmhouse in Mysuru’s Hunsur taluk on May 4, shortly before Revanna’s arrest at his father, former PM H D Deve Gowda’s residence in Bengaluru’s Padmanabhanagar.

HD Revanna retained senior counsel C V Nagesh for his bail plea, while Special Public Prosecutor Jaina Kothari and Additional Public Prosecutor Ashok Naik represented the SIT. Nagesh alleged a political conspiracy behind Revanna’s arrest and cited a recent video by the victim denying abduction by Revanna or his family. Kothari and Naik countered, stating the victim’s statement against Revanna was recorded under CrPC sections 161 and 164.

The SIT argued that the bail application was filed while the accused was in custody, making it not maintainable. However, the Judge urged focusing on the case’s merit. Nagesh pointed out that the victim’s son reported his mother’s absence and mentioned her departure with an acquaintance on a motorbike, challenging the interpretation of kidnap.

Naik highlighted threats to the victim and her family by the accused, necessitating police protection. After a short break, Nagesh contested the validity of the sections invoked by the SIT, citing previous court rulings on kidnapping cases. He emphasized the lack of evidence against Revanna and his disconnection from Prajwal’s cases, urging immediate bail relief.

Nagesh questioned the presence of two special public prosecutors for bail objections, while Kothari clarified their roles. The defense objected to additional submissions by the SIT, demanding an opportunity for rebuttal. Kothari corrected misinformation in Nagesh’s argument, stating the victim’s non-relationship with Revanna and the timing of statements recorded by the Investigation Officer.

The Judge noted the submission of statements in both remand applications and declined SIT’s request for more time, reserving the order for 5 pm on Monday, granting bail to Revanna.

The Controversy

Prajwal Revanna, JD(S) MP and grandson of Deve Gowda, faces multiple charges of sexual abuse, sparking a political uproar between Congress and BJP-JD(S). Prajwal left the country on April 27, triggering an Interpol Blue Corner Notice, amid demands for a CBI probe by BJP-JD(S) alliance partners.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte