Karnataka HC refuses to quash rape charge against Murugha mutt seer

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Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, seer of Murugarajendra Bruhan Mutt, Chitradurga.

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, seer of Murugarajendra Bruhan Mutt, Chitradurga.
| Photo Credit: File photo

 

The High Court of Karnataka on March 11 refused to quash the rape charge against Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, seer of Murugarajendra Bruhan Mutt, Chitradurga, in the second case of sexual assault.

However, the court quashed the charges framed against him by the trial court under provisions of the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while partly allowing the petitions filed by the seer questioning the legality of the order passed by the trial court in April 2023 framing charges against him under various provisions of the laws.

Observing that the trial court cannot act as a post office of the prosecution, the High Court said that the trial had loosely laid charges against the seer under provisions of the the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and the Juvenile Justice ( Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. 

Since the trial court had framed charges in a composite manner involving the offences under all these laws, the High Court directed the trial court to redraw the charges by taking more of the observations made in the order, and proceed further. 

The High Court noted that the trial court had framed the charges under provisions of the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988 even though the High Court had quashed the charge sheet filed by the police under this law.

KARNATAKA CHITRADURGA  04/09/ 2022  KARNATAKA BELAGAVI 04 09 2022 POLICE BRING Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru for a Mahazar IN THE MATH IN CHITRADURGA ON SUNDAY . The seer is facing charges under the POCSO Act, of allegedly sexually assaulting two minor girls. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

KARNATAKA CHITRADURGA 04/09/ 2022 KARNATAKA BELAGAVI 04 09 2022 POLICE BRING Sri Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru for a Mahazar IN THE MATH IN CHITRADURGA ON SUNDAY . The seer is facing charges under the POCSO Act, of allegedly sexually assaulting two minor girls. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT
| Photo Credit:
HANDOUT E MAIL

The seer was arrested in September 2022 based on a First Information Report (FIR) registered following a complaint by a member of the child welfare committee in Mysuru. The FIR was later transferred to Chitradurga Rural police. He was granted bail by the High Court in November 2023 on the condition that he should not enter Chitradurga till conclusion of the trial. He was to participate in court proceedings through videoconferencing.



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