Gauri Lankesh Murder case: SC issues notice on special leave petition filed by Kavita Lankesh

Deepali Kalia-

The Apex Court issued notice on a special leave petition filed by Kavita Lankesh, sister of Gauri Lankesh who was shot dead in 2017, which challenged the Karnataka High Court’s judgment in the case of Mohan Nayak, an accused in her sister’s murder case.

Appearing on behalf of Kavita Lankesh, Senior Advocate Hufeza Ahmadi, informed the Top Court that Mohan Nayak was seeking bail by relying on the impugned judgment.

In response, a Bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose, AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari stated that bail application should be decided without the influence of the impugned judgment.

The plea contended that as per the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Team in response to the complaint by Kavita Lankesh lodged under section 302 of Indian Penal Code against unknown persons, the accused persons were found to be involved in an “organized crime syndicate’ which clearly attracted the provisions under Karnataka Control of Organized Crimes Act, 2000 (KCOCA).

The investigation unearthed that Nayak was involved in “continuous unlawful activity” within the meaning of KCOCA and actively provided shelters to the killers. Following which sanction was accorded under Section 24(2) of KCOCA and supplementary charge sheet was filed as well, the plea informed.

However, following the Karnataka High Court’s impugned order on 22nd April 2021 which quashed the order of the Bengaluru Commissioner of Police and the supplementary charge sheet, charges against Nayak under KCOCA were dropped.

The plea contended that Karnataka High Court had made an error by, “Not examining the scheme of Section 24 KCOCA which states that prior approval ought not to be granted by any officer below the rank of Additional Director General of Police which has been duly complied with in the present case”. Therefore, the plea prayed for a stay on the operation of the Karnataka High Court’s final judgment and order dated 22 April, 2021.

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