SC notice on plea against bail to ex-Mayor
New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from Karnataka government and others on a plea against the bail granted to former Bengaluru Mayor Sampath Raj and former corporator Abdul Raqueeb Zakir in a case connected to the east Bengaluru violence on August 12, 2020, which claimed lives of four people.
The Karnataka High Court had granted bail to both Raj and Zakir this month.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy sought a response from Raj and Zakir within three weeks as the top court issued notice on a plea filed by Congress’ Pulakeshinagar MLA R. Akhanda Srinivasmurthy through advocate Amit Pai.
The plea contended that the respondent accused is a politician, a former corporator, and therefore an influential personality. “It is further submitted that the role of the respondent accused in the conspiracy to is well documented, and the respondent accused (Zakir) is one of the principal conspirators for the incident and has been instrumental in mobilising persons to vandalise and burn down the house of the Petitioner, as also to create a communal situation,” the plea said.
Senior advocates Devadatt Kamat and R. Basant and advocate Rajesh Inamdar, representing Srinivasamurthy, informed the court that though the accused had committed serious crimes, they have been released on bail. “There is every likelihood of the respondent accused (Zakir) tampering with witness and evidence, if enlarged on bail, in view of his political clout,” the plea added.
Counsel for the petitioner argued that only operative part of the order had been made available by the High Court, and reasons for bail have not been uploaded. “The respondent accused (Zakir) is one of the principal architects of a conspiracy to orchestrate a mob of 2,000-3,000 people to attack, vandalise, commit dacoity and set fire to the house of the petitioner, apart from largescale violence leading to destruction of public property, and setting on fire two police stations,” the plea added.
In the petition, Srinivasmurthy claimed that Raj had unsuccessfully contested the 2018 Assembly elections from the C.V. Raman Nagar Assembly constituency, and he desired to contest from the Pulakeshinagar Assembly constituency, from where he is the sitting MLA, in the next elections.
Srinivasmurthy said Raj harboured ill-will against him due to political reasons and created law and order situation on the pretext of alleged derogatory post by his nephew.
Last year in August, thousands of people went on a rampage setting ablaze the houses of Srinivasamurthy and his sister over an alleged inflammatory social media post.
The mob also torched two police stations over suspicion that the petitioner’s nephew was present there.