New Delhi: The Supreme Court has requested the Karnataka High Court to determine the bail appeal of one of the accused in the killing of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh without being influenced by a decree to neutralize allegations against him. The top court sought a response from the Karnataka government on a prayer made by the sister of a murdered journalist protesting the release of organised crime charges against victim Mohan Nayak in the case.
A three-judge committee chaired by Justice A M Khanwilkar provided notice to the Karnataka government and others while seeking their response on the supplication lodged by Lankesh’s sister Kavitha Lankesh against the high court decree. “Issue notice on the applications seeking consent to lodge a special leave petition, prayer for interim relief and special leave petition.
“After hearing solicitor for respondent No.6, for the time being, we noticed that the bail application lodged by respondent No.6 before the high court be determined without being decided by the impugned order. For, it is a subject matter of defence in this special leave appeal,” the bench also consists Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Annirudhha Bose said.
The top court has posted the case for next hearing on July 15. According to the prayer lodged by Kavitha, Nayak is relying on the false judgement of the Karnataka High Court, which neutralised charges against him on April 22, to seek bail. The high court had cancelled the charges saying, “All the subsequent acts namely approved order, charge sheet and the order taking acknowledgement from the approval order.”
“If the sanctioned order itself is illegitimate, the approval order, the charge sheet and the approval order so far as the offences under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act against the petitioner (Nayak) have no evidence,” the high court had mentioned
Kavita’s solicitor told the supreme court that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had disclosed that Nayak was part of a syndicate which was behind several cases of organised crime. Lankesh was murdered on the night of September 5, 2017, from a close range in front of her Rajarajeshwari Nagar house in Bengaluru around 8 pm.