K’taka HC grants one week for victims’ lawyer to reply on vakalat validity

Murugha Math Seer Rape Case:

PTI, Oct 29, 2022, 8:05 AM IST

Image credit: PTI / File

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Friday granted a week’s time to the advocate representing the survivors in the Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru rape case to file objections to the Lingayat seer’s claim on the validity of the ‘vakalat’ filed on their behalf.

The pontiff has been in custody since September 1 in the case under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Two girls studying in a school run by Murugha Math in Chitradurga district had complained about sexual offences by Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, the chief pontiff of the math.

In the bail plea filed on behalf of the pontiff, the legality of the ‘vakalat’ filed on the girls’ behalf has been questioned. The matter was heard by the single judge bench of Justice Srinivas Harish Kumar.

Swamini Ganesh Mohanambal, the advocate for the seer, argued that one Mani has filed the ‘vakalat’ on behalf of the girls claiming to be the guardian of the two children but there are no documents to show that the alleged victims have consented to the ‘vakalat’.

The HC, therefore, granted one week time to file a written objection to this argument and adjourned the case.

Earlier in the day, police submitted a 694-page charge sheet in the Chitradurga district sessions court against the Murugha Math chief pontiff in the rape case.

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