What will be the political fate of Prajwal Revanna if he wins Lok Sabha elections 2024 from Hassan?

A Bengaluru court on Friday sent Prajwal Revanna to seven days of SIT custody, till 6 June. He is accused of sexually abusing several women.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published Jun 01, 2024 | 1:10 PM Updated Jun 01, 2024 | 1:10 PM

Karnataka Prajwal Revanna 2024 Lok Sabha Polls Hassan MP JD(S)

In a scenario highlighting the complexities of law and politics, sitting MP Prajwal Revanna, despite being the main accused in a sexual violence case, remains eligible to take the oath of office if he wins the Lok Sabha election from Hassan.

The results for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls will be announced on 4 June. The final phase 7 polling is being held for 57 seats in eight states on 1 June, 2024. The polling for the six phases has already concluded in 22 states.

In Karnataka, the parliament elections were held in two phases: the first phase was held in 14 seats on 26 April and the second phase held for the remaining seats on 7 May.

In the first phase in Karnataka, suspended JD(S) leader and accused Prajwal Revanna is fighting as the BJP-led-NDA candidate from the Hassan Lok Sabha constituency.

On his return from Germany on 30 May, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested Prajwal Revanna at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. Produced before the 42nd Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court, he was subsequently sent to the SIT custody for seven days.

Supreme Court Advocate KV Dhananjay emphasized that the current legal framework allows Revanna to assume his parliamentary role as long as he remains not convicted.

Meanwhile, Political commentators underscored that Prajwal Revanna’s immediate political trajectory will face challenges, but his long-term prospects will largely depend on the fate of the JD(S) party and the judicial outcomes of his case.

Also Read: Karnataka High Court deems HD Revanna bail order flawed

‘Accused can take oath of parliament’

Supreme Court Advocate KV Dhananjay asserted that despite sitting MP Prajwal Revanna remaining as the prime accused in the sexual violence case, if he wins in the Lok Sabha polls from Hassan, no law will bar him from taking oath of the parliament.

Dhananjay told South First: “Considering the laws of the land, If Prajwal Revanna wins, the law does not stop him from taking the oath. Because, irrespective of the seriousness of the charges, the case is still under investigation.”

“He remains an accused and not a convicted person. If and only if the court convicts him on these charges, he will be disqualified and also barred from taking oath or continuing as a member of Parliament,” he said.

“As the case is still under probe, the investigation authorities following the procedure may file a chargesheet,” he continued.

“Then, the trial court verifies the various statements and the chargesheet. If it is satisfied with the chargesheet, then the accused will be summoned and trial will begin,” noted advocate Dhananjay.

He further said: “With barely three days left for the Lok Sabha results, Prajwal seems to remain as an accused as any trial would take more time. As per the law, he will be allowed to take oath, if he wins.”

“He will also get good company in the parliament as there will be several elected members facing various criminal charges. The law does not stop him from entering the parliament, as things stand,” clarified the Supreme Court advocate.

When asked about anyone filing PIL to prevent Revanna from taking oath, Dhananjay said: “Even if someone files a PIL, the court has no authority to stop him from taking part in the electoral process.”

“This is an electoral democracy which will strictly go by laws. The law allows a person to contest elections until he is convicted in a case,” clarified the Supreme Court advocate.

Also Read: Bengaluru court sends Prajwal Revanna to 7 days of SIT custody in sexual abuse case

‘Revanna’s political future depends on JD(S) survival’

With facing as serious as sexual violence charges, the political commentators opine that Prajwal Revanna’s future in politics depends on the survival of the JD(S) and fate of the case.

Ever since the videos were leaked, followed by the registration of three FIRs connected to sexual violence and kidnapping against him, the dark clouds have been hovering over Revanna’s political career.

Azim Premji University Professor and Political Analyst Narayan A told South First: “If he wins, there is no law restricting him from taking oath in the parliament as he will remain as accused until the court pronounces judgement on the matter. Legally nothing is going to happen.”

“In the short-run, he will face a set-back. However, in the long run, the fate of his political career and future depends on various factors. Firstly, it hinges on the future of the JD(S) in terms of its survivability,” he said.

“Secondly, if the court found him guilty in these cases, then it will depend on how he conducts himself in the society. But he will face set-back in short-run,” opined Narayan A.

It may also be noted that after the videos were leaked and cases were registered, JD(S) suspended and expelled Prajwal Revanna from the party.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)