Sex scandal:FIR filed against former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi

Bengaluru: In a new twist to the ongoing probe into the sex scandal allegedly involving former Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi, an FIR was registered against him on Friday on a complaint by the woman, said to be in the purported video.

Maintaining that he is innocent and ready for a legal battle against the “conspiracy”, Jarkiholi said his “game will start now” and he was “capable enough” to face more such complaints.

The FIR came hours after the woman released her third video statement this morning,announcing her decision to file a complaint against Jarkiholi through her lawyer Jagadish Kumar.

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Kumar met City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant at his office this afternoon and handed over the copy of the complaint, said to have been written by the woman.

He was then directed by the Commissioner to file a complaint at the city’s Cubbon Park Police Station, based on which an FIR was registered against Jarkiholi under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, police sources said.

Speaking to reporters, Kumar confirmed that the FIR was registered, but did not divulge details of the sections invoked, citing that it was a case of crime against women.

“Serious sections have been laid for the crime against women,” he said.

On whether Jorkiholi can be arrested under the sections, he said “definitely, they are non-bailable sections.”

Kumar also said he would meet the Director General of Police on providing protection for the woman and her family and she would also come forward and cooperate with the probe.

According to police sources, the FIR was registered under various sections of the IPC,including 354A- sexual harassment, 506- criminal intimidation,504 -Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace, 376C- sexual intercourse by person in authority, 417- cheating and also under the IT act.

The sources said the woman accused Jarkiholi of sexually “using” her, cheating and threatening her after promising a government job.

She has alleged that Jarkiholi had released the video to defame her, thinking she may file a complaint, and has sought protection fearing a threat to her life and to that of her family, they said.

In her third video statement released on Friday morning, the woman said she got the courage to file a complaint because of the “blessings” of the people and support from leaders of political parties and organisations.

“For the last 24 days I was living with the fear of threat to my life. Today I have got some kind of courage.

…with that courage and because of the support I have got, I’m today filing a complaint against Ramesh Jarkiholi through my lawyer Jagadish,” she said.

Reacting to it, Jarkiholi reiterated he was innocent and there was a ‘conspiracy’ against him and said he was confident of facing ’10 more such complaints” and has no fear.

“..they have used their final weapon…from tomorrow we will start using our weapons. Let them file 10 more complaints, I’m ready to face it.. I too have advocates, Supreme Court Lawyers on my side,” he told reporters.

The former minister said he has not committed any mistake and that he knew the woman would say things against him. “I will not fear such things. I will talk to legal experts.”

Jarkiholi also urged the Special Investigation Team probing the case, to investigate his FIR first.

“I request the Commissioner… If I have committed a mistake, I will appear myself,” he said, adding that the money and gold that is said to have been recovered from places linked to the woman and others need to be investigated first.

“I dislodged one government and installed another,” he said.

Jarkiholi, then Congress minister, is said to have played an instrumental role in the political turmoil that led to the fall of the Congress-JDS coalition government in July 2019.

“Whats this? I will face more such complaints,”Jarkiholi said, adding that he had told Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai the names of those behind the conspiracy on day one, and “everything will come out”.

To a question, he ruled out applying for bail for now.

A day after news channels aired videos of the alleged sex scandal, Jarkiholi, who was Water Resources Minister in Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa-led cabinet, had resigned on March 3.

Jarkiholi has repeatedly claimed that he was innocent and that the video was “fake”.

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