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Charge sheet filed against prominent seer in rape case

rape

Bengaluru: A prominent seer in Karnataka was today chargesheeted in a court here for alleged rape in a case filed by a woman.

Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami has been accused of repeated rape by the woman, who was a singer in a troupe at his Shivamogga district-based Ramachandrapura Mutt.

Running into six volumes, the 1,340-page charge sheet filed by the Criminal Investigation Department before the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate contained the statements of 151 witnesses, sources said.

IPC Sections 376(2)(N) (repeated rape) and 508 (act caused by inducing person to believe that he/she will be rendered an object of the divine displeasure), among others, have been invoked in the case.

The sources said that material evidence and the Forensic Science Laboratory report has been submitted before court and the investigation would continue into the case.

The woman had accused the seer of raping her several times at different places, including the Mutt’s branch here, after she and her husband had been arrested by Honnavar police for allegedly blackmailing Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami in August last year.

Another woman had recently accused the seer of raping her and lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him.

National Commission for Women Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam, who was in the city on Tuesday, had expressed disappointment over the delay in the filing of the charge sheet against the seer, who is on interim bail now.

“In this case, unfortunately, political will does seem to be lacking,” she had said after meeting both the women complainants.

—PTI