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SC cancels K’taka seer’s bail in POCSO case, asks to surrender


The Supreme Court Monday reversed a Karnataka High Court order that granted bail to Seer Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, who is accused of sexually assaulting minor girls, and directed the police to take him into custody within one week.

Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru was arrested under the POCSO Act and was released on bail on November 8, 2023.

A Division Bench comprising of Vikram Nath and Prashant Kumar Mishra, while hearing the criminal special leave petition filed by a minor girl’s father against Karnataka High Court’s November 8, 2023 order granting bail to Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, directed cancelling of the bail and asked the police to take the seer into custody within one week.

The petitioner alleged that the seer is an affluent and influential person, and the trial in the case is about to begin. He said if Shivamurthy is allowed to remain out on bail, he will likely adversely influence the victims and other witnesses.

Taking note of the father’s plea, the bench said, “It is prima facie viewed that to ensure a fair trial not only to the accused but also to the victims, it would be in the interest of justice that Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru remains in custody during the time the witnesses of fact are examined.”

The Court said, “We will not delve into the merits of the matter as it may ultimately affect the trial.” The Court stayed the operation of the Karnataka High Court order for four months from the date of the order, which may be extended for two more months if required, the court said.

The Court granted Shivamurthy a week to surrender before the Trial Court. The Court also directed the Trial Court to frame the charges afresh and that the trial should be conducted as expeditiously as possible and if necessary, on a day-to-day basis and ensure that the witnesses of fact are examined within four months.

Further, the Court directed the Trial Court to observe the conduct of the parties and in case any unnecessary attempts to delay the trial are made out, it shall make a note of the same and forward it to the Court.

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