HD Kumaraswamy seeks Karnataka Governor’s intervention in Prajwal Revanna sexual abuse case probe

Kumaraswamy asked Governor to seek DK Shivakumar’s ouster from cabinet, accusing CM Siddaramaiah and his deputy of interfering in SIT probe.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 09, 2024 | 4:56 PMUpdatedMay 09, 2024 | 4:56 PM

HD Kumaraswamy handing over the JD(S) petition to the Governor.

Former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on Thursday, 9 May, alleged that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing into the sexual abuse charges against JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna, is “losing track”.

Kumaraswamy and JD(S) leaders met Karnataka Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on Thursday and submitted a memorandum to him seeking a CBI probe into the allegations.

Prajwal — nephew of JD(S) state chief Kumaraswamy — is the MP of Hassan and the NDA candidate from the same constituency for the Lok Sabha elections. He was suspended from the JD(S) after allegations of sexual abuse had risen against him.

The former chief minister, while maintaining that he wants the guilty to be punished in accordance with the law, raised questions on the progress of the probe by the SIT constituted by Karnataka’s Congress government.

Also raising questions regarding the investigation against Prajwal’s father and his brother, MLA HD Revanna, who is facing kidnapping charges, Kumaraswamy asked why the woman who was allegedly kidnapped has not been produced before the court so far after she was rescued.

In its petition to the Governor, JD(S) leaders have alleged that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar were interfering in the SIT investigation daily.

They also alleged that Shivakumar was behind the circulation of over 25,000 pen drives containing the alleged obscene videos of Prajwal across the Hassan and Bengaluru Rural constituencies.

Also Read: 4 more detained in kidnap case in Karnataka

Questions investigation

“We are giving a memorandum to the Governor as to how the investigation is losing its track… I have been saying since day one that whoever has committed wrong has to be punished. Looking at the way in which things are going on, it looks like none of these people want the guilty punished, but want publicity… What is the achievement (progress) since the investigation began?” Kumaraswamy said.

While speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, he said there is information that the family of the kidnapped woman has been kept here. He questioned why the woman has not been produced before the court till now.

“It has been how many days since the kidnapped woman was brought here? Has her statement been recorded under section 164 of CrPC (statements recorded by a magistrate)? Has she been produced before the judge? It has been five days, why has the woman not been produced before the judge? From where was she brought? Was the ‘mahazar’ done? Was she brought from some farmhouse as claimed and reported in the media?” Kumaraswamy asked.

Further questioning why the SIT has not shared this information so far, the JD(S) leader said it has been five days since the woman was brought here, and they have not said anything about whether Revanna was responsible for the abduction or not.

‘They don’t want punishment for the guilty’

“Why is the truth not placed before the court? They have sought time till Monday to file their objection. It means they want to keep Revanna in jail for three more days. They (Congress leaders) want to fulfil their hate, that is what they want. They don’t want punishment for the guilty,” he added.

“I don’t know whether the issue will die down after 4 June (Lok Sabha polls results).”

Revanna was remanded into judicial custody till 14 May by a magisterial court in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

He was in the custody of the SIT after being arrested in the alleged case of kidnapping a woman.

The case was filed based on a complaint by her son, who also accused the MLA’s son Prajwal Revanna of having sexually assaulted her.

According to the police, the abducted woman was subsequently rescued.

The 33-year-old Prajwal is facing charges of sexually abusing several women. The scandal has raised a political storm with the ruling Congress and the BJP-JD(S) engaged in a slugfest.

Responding to a question on Shivakumar allegedly targeting him, Kumaraswamy sarcastically said, “Yes I’m the producer, director and also I’m the lead of the story… Shivakumar wants me to be the lead of the story right? I’m happy that he has accepted me as the lead of the story.”

Shivakumar on Wednesday charged Kumaraswamy with being behind the circulation of videos of the sexual abuse of several women allegedly by Prajwal Revanna, and called the JD(S) second-in-command the “king of blackmailing” and the “lead, director, and producer of the story.”

Also Read: Won’t transfer Prajwal Revanna sexual abuse case to CBI, says HM

The petition

The JD(S) petition alleged that Shivakumar spread the videos across different parliamentary constituencies in Karnataka to defame the NDA and its Lok Sabha election candidates.

The petition sought to have a CBI investigation against the people, including Shivakumar, who allegedly circulated the videos.

Highlighting a voice clip alleged to be a conversation between Shivakumar and BJP leader Deveraje Gowda, to whom Prajwal’s former driver handed over the video clips, the letter alleged that he was trying to tarnish the image of the JD(S) and its leaders.

“Conversation between Devaraje Gowda and DK Shivakumar openly exposes collision, conspiracy and involvement of Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar in the SIT investigation bringing out vested interest in tarnish image of HD Deve Gowda, HD Kumaraswamy and also image of JD(S) party,” it said.

It further alleged that Shivakumar was behind the “distribution of more than 25 thousand pen drives in bus stands, parks and other public places throughout Hassan parliamentary constituency”.

JD(S) also claimed that the investigation conducted by SIT was biased, partial and not transparent as it was not as per established procedures as the team was threatening the alleged victims to file complaints without governing their privacy and modesty.

“The State Government has utterly failed to stop the circulation of alleged videos causing a lot of agony, sorrow and indignity to the families of victims. The State Government failed to initiate suitable action under section 353-C of IPC and under section 6 a6-E, 67 and 67A of the Information and Technology Act-2000 against all the concerned who still possess and circulate such videos,” it said.

“The State Government has failed to arrest and act against persons like Navin Gowda who was directly involved in circulation of videos through social media platform and through distribution of pen drives containing obscene items depicting women allegedly exploited in spite of specific complaint against him in Hassan Crime Police Station,” it claimed.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil with PTI inputs)