The Karnataka high court on Sunday passed an emergency order banning the government from publishing the preliminary findings of the CID in the unnatural death of IAS officer DK Ravi.
The order passed by judge S Abdul Nazeer on a writ filed by the husband of a female IAS batchmate of Ravi, is being seen as a blow to the Siddaramaiah government which was planning to table the initial findings in the legislature on Monday.
It is a good news for the BJP which has made the death a rallying point against the government and accused it of trying to hush up the case. Reiterating his party's demand for a CBI probe on Sunday, former chief minister and BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa said that an interim report shouldn't be tabled in the legislature as it would hamper the probe.
In fact, senior BJP leaders were discussing the possible fallout of an interim report at a core committee meeting of the party when the order was passed by the high court.
The husband of the IAS officer, who some police sources allege was romantically involved with Ravi, filed a petition invoking article 226 of the Constitution under which the high court is given extraordinary power to restrain the government from taking certain action. His plea was that certain angles of the probe, if placed in the public domain, will bring his family and wife into disrepute.
Although no senior Congress legislator reacted officially, party sources indicated the government will challenge the stay order. They also said that the process of fighting the order will buy the government crucial time to further strengthen the CID probe.
"The order does not restrain the government from continuing with the probe. The stay also works in our favor as it will help dampen the calls for a CBI investigation."
Siddaramaiah, who is under pressure from Congress president Sonia Gandhi to hand over the case to the CBI , had told his party boss that he will first table the preliminary report in the legislature and hand over the case to a central agency if the opposition is still unconvinced. Sources close to the CM, who spoke to HT, said that the preliminary report contains some compelling facts that indicate that Ravi committed suicide for personal reasons.