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Former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa alleges conspiracy from opposition, seeks anticipatory bail in POCSO case

Former Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa, accused of sexually harassing a minor, sought anticipatory bail from the High Court, citing political conspiracy, age, health, and baseless charges under the POCSO Act. He highlighted his cooperation with the investigation and witnesses' testimonies denying the crime, requesting bail to avoid potential arrest.

Former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa alleges conspiracy from opposition, seeks anticipatory bail in POCSO case vkp
First Published Jun 14, 2024, 12:06 PM IST

Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, facing allegations of sexually harassing a minor, has approached the High Court for anticipatory bail. Yediyurappa, who filed a criminal petition in the High Court on Thursday, claimed that opposition political leaders are conspiring against him. He asserted in his petition that he is innocent and that the charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act are baseless, and aimed solely at tarnishing his reputation.

Yediyurappa, 81, highlighted his age and health issues in the petition, noting that he requires regular medical visits and medication. He emphasized that the charges he faces do not carry the death penalty but have a maximum sentence of seven years. Citing previous Supreme Court rulings, he argued that bail can be granted without arrest during the trial in such cases.

BS Yediyurappa likely to be arrested by CID as court issues non-bailable warrant in POCSO case

Yediyurappa requested the High Court to grant him anticipatory bail, naming the Central Crime Branch (CID), which is investigating the case, as the respondent. The petition is scheduled for a hearing on Friday.

What is Yediyurappa's plea?

In his plea, Yediyurappa recounted an incident where the complainant woman, accompanied by her minor daughter, visited his house seeking help to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate a case in which they were allegedly cheated out of crores in a business deal.

After a brief conversation, Yediyurappa was accused of taking the complainant's daughter to a room and sexually harassing her. The complainant registered the case at Sadashivanagar police station on March 3, 2024. Based on this complaint, the police filed an FIR, which was then transferred to the CID.

The CID issued a notice to Yediyurappa on March 28, and he attended the hearing on April 12. He stated that the investigators did not record any statements from him but collected a sound sample. On June 11, the CID issued a second notice, instructing him to attend another hearing on June 12. Yediyurappa responded to the notice, requesting to attend the hearing on June 17 due to a prior engagement in Delhi.

Despite his willingness to cooperate, the investigating agency sought a warrant against him from the trial court. Yediyurappa expressed concern in his petition that the trial court might issue a warrant, leading to his arrest by CID officials.

CID issues notice to former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa in POCSO case

Yediyurappa argued that the case does not fall under IPC 354(A) for sexual harassment and that there are no grounds for a complaint under the POCSO Act. Witnesses present at his house on the day of the incident have testified to the investigating agency that no crime occurred as alleged. The complaint was lodged one and a half months after the supposed incident, which Yediyurappa believes was intended to harass him.

He assured the court of his full cooperation with the investigation and his regular attendance at trial court hearings. Consequently, Yediyurappa requested anticipatory bail from the court. The High Court is expected to hear Yediyurappa's petition on Friday, where his plea for anticipatory bail will be considered.

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