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Karnataka HC rejects Gauri Lankesh murder accused's bail plea

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Karnataka HC rejects Gauri Lankesh murder accuseds bail plea
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Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has rejected the bail plea filed by the accused, Hrishikesh Devdikar, in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. The petition sought "default bail" and challenged a lower court order.

Devdikar was arrested in January 2020 and sent to judicial custody. He filed an application for statutory/default bail under Section 167(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code. The special court refused to consider the petition.

Approaching the HC, the accused argued that since it was a murder case, a charge sheet had to be filed within 90 days of his arrest. But no charge sheet was filed against him even on April 4, 2020, so he should automatically get bail as per Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPC.

The government advocate responded to the plea by saying Devdikar was on the run and a charge sheet had been filed in his absence. Justice Suraj Govindaraj said the accused cannot seek the benefit of Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPc for the same reason. "An accused would not be entitled to the benefit under Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPC, in the event of charges sheet having already been filed before his arrest."

"I am of the considered opinion that in the present case, a charge sheet having been laid against the petitioner even prior to the arrest of the petitioner, the petitioner having been arraigned as an accused and charged with the certain offence, I am of the considered opinion that the benefit of Subsection (2) of Section 167 of CrPc would not arise," added the High Court judge.

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TAGS:KarnatakaKarnataka high courtGauri Lankesh
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