The Karnataka High Court on Thursday allowed the filing of a Special Investigation Team report into the allegations of sexual assault against former state minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, The Indian Express reported.
During the court hearing over the constitution of the Special Investigation Team, the state government indicated that it would file a closure report in the sexual assault case.
Jarkiholi, a Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, had resigned from his post as Karnataka water resources minister on March 3, 2021, after he was accused of sexually harassing a woman in return for a government job.
An explicit video of Jarkiholi was broadcast by television channels in March 2021. Initially, Jarkiholi said the video was fake but later told the Special Investigation Team that it was genuine and that it had been allegedly used by a gang, including the woman, to extort him.
Unidentified police officers told The Indian Express that the Special Investigation Team found inaccuracies in the rape allegations against Jarkiholi. A counter-complaint of extortion filed by the legislator is still being probed, according to the investigation agency.
In July 2021, the Special Investigation Team had placed its report of its inquiry into complaints of sexual assault and extortion before the High Court and sought permission to file them in the lower court. The Karnataka High Court had restrained the Special Investigation Team from filing reports as it flagged the absence of the team’s head during the probe from May to July.
The court told the Special Investigation Team to submit the reports again after their examination by the agency’s head Soumendu Mukherjee, a police officer of the rank of inspector general. The reports were then submitted to the High Court in December.
On January 6, the Special Investigation Team had approached the Karnataka High Court to file its report on the sexual assault allegations against the former minister.
The woman, who made the allegations, has also approached the High Court seeking to quash the setting up of the Special Investigation Team. According to her advocates, the investigation was not carried out according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, The Indian Express reported.