Vijay Kulkarni a Congress leader from Karnataka is under the judicial custody in connection with the murder of Zila Panchayat Member Yogeeshgouda Goudar requested for bail and his bail has been rejected by the CBI special court. CBI Special Court Judge K.M. Gangadhar passed the order rejecting the bail plea.

The judge had, on December 9, heard the arguments of CBI counsel and posted the matter to Monday for orders. Counsel for Vinay Kulkarni moved the bail application on November 26 and the court heard their arguments on December 4. On December 9, filing objections to bail, counsel for CBI K. Sudarshan argued that Vinay Kulkarni was the key conspirator along with another accused Basavaraj Mutagi in the murder.

He said that Vinay Kulkarni had already intimidated eye witnesses and being a former Minister, he had taken the entire system for a ride, while misusing the police in his favour. CBI counsel said that Vinay Kulkarni had stayed in Room No 555 of Mayura Hotel in Bengaluru from June 6 to 20 in 2016 and conspired with his henchmen and accused No 1 to kill Yogeeshgouda Goudar. He also said that Vinay Kulkarni had met Mutagi near Sankey Tank in Bengaluru at 1.35 a.m. on June 16, 2016 and made arrangements for the six accused to surrender before the police. Vinay Kulkarni is now lodged in the Hindalga Jail in Belagavi. He will be in judicial custody till December 21. It may be recalled that the former Minister’s counsel filed a bail application on November 16 itself only to withdraw it, before CBI counsel could file their objections.

The advocate representing ex-minister and Congress leader Vinay Kulkarni withdrew the bail application filed in the third additional Sessions court. The court, which had fixed the hearing on Wednesday had adjourned it to Thursday after the CBI counsel requested a day’s time to file objection. Before the CBI counsel could file objection on Thursday, Kulkarni’s advocate gave a letter to the court that he was withdrawing the application. It was not immediately known why the plea was withdrawn. The court, however, sent him to judicial custody on Friday evening and ordered that he be produced on Saturday via video conference. It then handed over the former minister to CBI custody for three days. As the CBI custody ended on Monday, Kulkarni was produced before the court through video-conference. For security reasons, Kulkarni will be lodged at Central Prison, Hindalga, on the outskirts of Belagavi. The court also rejected CBI’s plea seeking permission for a polygraph test of the accused.

A large number of Kulkarni’s supporters, expecting him to be produced in person, gathered in front of the district court on Monday. Police had deployed more than 200 personnel in and around the court premises. Before producing Kulkarni in court, CBI sleuths led by SP Rakesh Ranjan interrogated him. Sources said Kulkarni’s legal team is likely to apply for bail on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Written BY : Aadya Rani


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