Karnataka High Court stays arrest of former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in POCSO case

The Karnataka High Court on Friday stayed the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa in connection with a case pertaining to sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl, Bar and Bench reported.

This came a day after a Bengaluru court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Yediyurappa in the case registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

The BJP leader has been accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, who is a complainant in a rape case that is pending since 2015.

At Friday’s hearing, the state accused Yediyurappa of evading summons issued on June 11 by travelling to Delhi citing prior party commitments, reported Bar and Bench.

“[Flight] Ticket was booked only after notice was issued to him,” Advocate General Shashi Kiran Shetty told the court.

However, a single-judge bench of Justice S Krishna Dixit said that Yediyurappa is unlikely to flee and noted that the politician had replied to the summons by saying that he would appear before the investigating officer on June 17.

“He [Yediyurappa] is not some Tom, Dick or Harry,” the High Court remarked. “He is a former chief minister of state. Is it your case he will flee the country? What can he do by leaving to Delhi from Bangalore.”

The court then passed the order of taking no coercive action against the BJP leader until the next hearing. It also asked Yediyurappa to appear before the investigating officer on June 17 for questioning in the matter.

“We cannot immediately jump to the conclusion that a case is made for arrest and detention for custodial interrogation of the petitioner who has been former chief minister of state and has ailments natural to that [advanced] age,” the court added.

On February 2, the 17-year-old girl and her mother had gone to Yediyurappa’s house seeking his help in a rape case investigation when the minor was allegedly assaulted.

A first information report was registered against the former chief minister on March 15.

According to the complainant, she was asked to go to another room while her mother was explaining the details of the case to Yediyurappa. It was there that the former chief minister subsequently allegedly molested her, reported The News Minute.

On May 26, the mother of the girl died of health complications.

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