SC reserves order on acquittal of Gauri Lankesh murder accused

SC reserves order on acquittal of Gauri Lankesh murder accused

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has indicated that it would set aside the portion of the Karnataka High Court order quashing the charge sheet against Mohan Nayak, who was accused in the murder of a Social activist- Journalist Gauri Lankesh. 

Mohan Nayak was booked in the murder case and also offences under the provisions of the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA). Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017, from a close range near her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru. 

While reserving the order on a petition seeking quashing of High Court order, the bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar orally informed the advocate appearing for the accused, Mohan Nayak regarding Court’s inclination to set aside the portion of HC order. 

 “We could have understood that high court was to limit it to only that in prior approval your name should not have been included. We could have understood that argument and reasoning, but not quashing of the chargesheet against you,” the bench observed, reported livelaw. 

The Bench also tentatively indicated that it is inclined to set aside the last part of the High Court's impugned order quashing the additional charge

The court expressed further disapproval of the high court by stressing that what was “challenged was 14th August 2018 order granting approval, the chargesheet wasn’t challenged.”

“We are tentatively indicating to you that we are inclined to quash the last part of the order. On prior approval, even if we uphold the finding given by the high court, the fact remains that nothing prevents the investigating agency to investigate on the factum of whether you are member of that syndicate or not and to present charge sheet after collating the material in that regard,” the bench told lawyer appearing for accused, livelaw report says. 

“This charge sheet material comes after investigation. At that stage, without there being any offence registered against this particular person how can you level him as member of the organised crime syndicate unless there is some material which was placed before the authority to give prior approval,” the bench asked the state’s counsel.