A Bangalore court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to railway minister Sadananda Gowda's son, Karthik Gowda, who has been accused of rape and cheating by a Kannada actress.
The court, however, impounded his passport and restrained him from leaving the city. He has been ordered to cooperate with the investigation and report to the police on the 15th and 30th of every month until the investigation is completed.The court also warned Karthik against trying to tamper with evidence or threaten the complainant.
In her August 27 complaint, the actress had accused Karthik of marrying and then deserting her. She filed the complaint on the same day that Karthik got engaged to the daughter of a wealthy, Bangalore-based businessman.
The case played out on live television as she hopped studios and granted interviews where she detailed their alleged relationship to the last intimate detail. She also released audios of her purported phone conversations with Karthik.
The grant of bail comes as a huge relief to Karthik who has been absconding ever since the sensational complaint was filed against him. The days following the complaint have been marked by intense speculation in the media about his whereabouts and his possible arrest.
The police had formed multiple teams to track him down and even managed to secure an arrest warrant from a local court on Friday.
A senior police officer told HT on the condition of anonymity, "We tried our best to nab him and our teams had visited different parts of the country in his pursuit. We are not too disappointed by the bail granted to him. At least now, he will be forced to respond to our summons."
When notices to Karthik went unanswered, the police also emailed a notice to Sadananda Gowda's yahoo account and served hard copies at his residences in Mangalore and Bangalore. Interestingly, the email to Sadananda Gowda, which was sent on September 2, ends with "sorry for the inconvenience".