Karnataka High Court extends protection against coercive action against RSS leader Kalladka Bhat

The court refused to stay the investigation as sought by Bhat's counsel but ordered the continuation of the interim order of 28 December.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 20, 2024 | 12:01 PMUpdatedJan 20, 2024 | 12:01 PM

Karnataka RSS Kalladka Prabhakar Bhatt FIR Nazma Najeer

The High Court of Karnataka, on Friday, 19 January, extended the protection against coercive action by the state against RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat in connection with his speech made on 24 December 2023 in Srirangapatna allegedly disparaging Muslim women.

Bhat is alleged to have stated that “Modi government gave permanent husbands to Muslim women”, among others.

The high court, on Friday, directed the state to submit the entire transcript of the speech made by Bhat before it.

Also Read: RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhatt booked for hate speech

Bhat’s counsel arguments

This followed the argument of the counsel for Bhat, Arun Shyam, who submitted before the court that selective phrases and words from his speech have been mined to show him in bad light.

This selective picking of words from the speech was an attempt to frame him on wrong criminal charges due to political pressure.

The counsel for the complainant argued before the HC that Bhat was a habitual offender and has made such offensive and communal speeches across Karnataka. It was the duty of the prosecution to provide the transcript of the speech and not the complainant, he argued.

He also submitted that facilities to play the video in the court should be made available.

The HC refused to stay the investigation as sought by Bhat’s counsel but ordered the continuation of the interim order of 28 December not to take coercive action preventing his arrest.

Also Read: No coercive action against Kalladka Prabhakar Bhatt: Karnataka HC

Bail granted

Meanwhile, the III Additional District and Sessions Judge in Mandya granted bail to Bhatt in the Srirangapatna case following his submission about his health condition.

Bhatt underwent cardiovascular surgery on 5 April 2022. “Hence there is substance in the contention of the petitioner that he is suffering from severe cardiac health issues,” the Sessions Court noted, and citing earlier Supreme Court judgements, granted Bhatt anticipatory bail.

He was directed to submit a personal bond for ₹2 lakh and a surety for a like sum.

The Sessions Court, however, clarified that the “investigator is at liberty to interrogate him as provided under relevant provisions of the CrPC.”

Also Read: Police hassled complainant as hate-speech accused roamed free


His statements, particularly targeting the Muslim community, ignited a firestorm of criticism, Nazma Nazeer to lodge a complaint against Bhatt at the Srirangapatna Police Station on 26 December.

In her complaint, Nazma alleged that Prabhakar was a “frequent offender” and had indulged in provoking communal tension and issuing derogatory remarks targeting women. She demanded stringent action against the RSS leader.

Nazma alleged: “Prabhakar Bhatt, speaking at the Sankirtana Yatra ceremony organised as part of Hanuman Jayanti, said Muslim women have one husband a day and that they do not have a permanent husband. He also said that the Modi government had given them permanent husbands.”

She claimed he said that young Muslim men as well as women were cheating people, and that Hindu men and women were being trapped with Love Jihad.

She also alleged that he asked people: “Aren’t there men and women on your side?”

“This statement is a case of inciting the public to sexually abuse and dominate women. This statement is about the violation of women’s privacy, sexually abusing a woman, inciting the public to use force on a woman, threatening a woman’s private matter, speaking indecently about a woman in a public place, teasing women in public, disturbing the dignity of women. This is an offence under IPC Sections 294, 354, 509, and 506,” pointed out Nazma.

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The charges against Bhatt

Najma Nazeer — leading JD(S) leader and social activist — had lodged the complaint and the police in Srirangapatna had booked Bhatt under various sections of the IPC.

The sections were:

  • 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty)
  • 294 (dealing with uttering obscene words in a public place)
  • 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman)
  • 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion)
  • 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class)
  • 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs)
  • 298 (deliberate hurting of religious feelings)

(With PTI inputs)