Complainant fails to join probe against Karnataka ex-minister Ramesh Jarkiholi
- A police officer said that the complainant's status as witness in the case of alleged sexual exploitation against former minister Ramesh Jarkiholi is also unclear.
Two days after lodging a complaint with Bengaluru’s Cubbon Park police station against former water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi who reigned over allegations of sexual exploitation, social activist Dinesh Kalahalli failed to appear before the police on Thursday.
According to officials at the station, Kalahalli, who was served a notice to appear before them on Thursday, agreed to appear on March 9 citing multiple reasons.
Talking about the investigation, MN Anuchet, deputy commissioner of police (central), said that the probe is underway, and police will collect information from Dinesh when he appears before them.
An officer familiar with the investigation, on condition of anonymity, said they have sought legal opinion about the case.
“At present, it is not clear whether the complaint lodged by the social activist can result in a First Information Report,” the officer said.
He went on to say that Kalahalli’s status as witness in the case is also unclear.
“Under CrPC a witness is someone who is familiar with the facts and circumstances of a case. In this case, he is not ready to provide details of the victim or her family. More importantly, the victim or her family has not made allegations so far,” the officer added.
An unverified video of a man resembling the minister with an unnamed woman has gone viral with TV news channels in Karnataka playing the incident on loop. The social activist had claimed that the minister had sought sexual for favours from the victim.
After the footage went viral, Ramesh Jarkihol resigned from the cabinet on Wednesday.
The police’s inability to identify the woman in the sex tape involving Jarkiholi, could mean that he could be the fifth politician to get a clean-chit in a sex scandal in the state.
In the last two decades, the state witnessed at least five politicians facing the heat over alleged sex tapes featuring them becoming public. While sex scandals have been instrumental in creating a controversy in the state, no political careers have been affected by them. Four politicians involved in such scandals before Jarkiholi got clean chits, continued in politics and returned to powerful positions.
BJP legislator Arvind Limbavali (2019), HY Meti, then excise minister in the Congress government (2016), Hartal Halappa, a close aide of BS Yediyurappa (2010) and BJP MLA Renukachary (2007) had court controversy over leaked tapes. While in the case of Limbavali and HY Meti, the probe could not verify the authenticity of the tapes, Halappa was acquitted by a court in a sexual assault case. In the case of Renukacharya, the victim withdrew the complaint lodged against the legislator.