Gauri Lankesh Murder Case: Supreme Court Questions Bail Decision

Mainstream
17-Jan-2024
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The Supreme Court has intervened in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, seeking a response from the Karnataka government after the Karnataka High Court decided to grant bail to Mohan Nayak, one of the accused. The plea challenging this decision was filed by Gauri Lankesh's sister, Kavitha Lankesh, who has raised concerns about the bail granted to Nayak.

Justice S Viashwajith Shetty of the Karnataka High Court granted bail to Mohan Nayak on December 7, 2023, making him the first person to receive bail in connection with the Gauri Lankesh murder case. The decision to grant bail was based on the observation that none of the witnesses implicated Nayak in the alleged conspiracy to murder Gauri Lankesh during a meeting. The High Court noted that witnesses primarily spoke about Nayak renting a house on the outskirts of Bengaluru, where the actual assailants sought shelter.

The High Court questioned the confession statements recorded in the case, highlighting that they were obtained before sanctioning the provisions of the Karnataka Control of Organized Crimes Act (COCA). Additionally, the High Court emphasized that even if COCA charges were proven, the offenses were not exclusively punishable by death or life imprisonment.

Acknowledging Nayak's prolonged custody of over five years, the High Court expressed concerns about potential trial delays, attributing them not to the accused but to external factors. The court's assessment led to the decision to grant bail, despite having previously denied regular bail to Nayak on two occasions.

In response to Kavitha Lankesh's challenge, the Supreme Court, represented by Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi and a legal team, has issued notice to the Karnataka government and Nayak. The court is expected to delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding Nayak's bail, further shaping the trajectory of the Gauri Lankesh murder case.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News Writer, MIT ADT University