Supreme Court refuses to quash charges framed against former Karnataka minister Vinay Kulkarni

The Karnataka HC refused to interfere with the charges framed by a special court against Kulkarni and asked it to accomplish the trial.


Published Jun 10, 2024 | 4:57 PMUpdatedJun 10, 2024 | 4:57 PM

Vinay Kulkarni.

The Supreme Court on Monday, 10 June, refused to quash charges framed by a special court against former Karnataka minister Vinay Kulkarni in connection with the murder of BJP worker Yogesh Gowda in the state’s Dharwad district in 2016.

A vacation bench of Justices Sanjay Kumar and Augustine George Masih refused to interfere with the Karnataka High Court order.

Senior advocate Siddhartha Dave, appearing for Kulkarni, submitted that the MLA has been named only in the second charge sheet filed by the CBI and that the statement of the deceased’s widow doesn’t disclose his name.

“You obviously bought over the widow. SLP dismissed,” the bench said.

At this juncture, Dave sought permission from the top court to withdraw the petition which was refused.

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Questions intent

“This has to stop.  This trying your luck at the Supreme Court then back out, this court has become a gambling court or what?” the bench said.

The Karnataka High Court on 8 April refused to interfere with the charges framed by a special court against Kulkarni and asked the special court to accomplish the trial and dispose of the criminal case against him preferably within three months.

The high court said the charges framed by the special court set up exclusively to deal with criminal cases against former and present MPs and MLAs show that due process was undertaken by the judge of the special court.

Gowda, a BJP zila panchayat member, was murdered on 15 June, 2016, at Dharwad.

In September 2019, the state government handed over an investigation into the case to the CBI. In November 2020, the agency arrested Kulkarni after questioning him in connection with the case.

The CBI has alleged that the accused had personal enmity and political rivalry with Gowda who rejected their offer to withdraw from the zila panchayat elections in 2016.

Kulkarni has denied the allegations levelled against him.

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