Highlights

  • 2017 Gauri Lankesh murder case
  • Key accused granted bail
  • HC cites delay in trial proceedings

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'Though charges were framed in the present case on 30.10.2021, for the last more than two years, only 90 witnesses have been examined. There are more than 400 charge sheet witnesses who are yet to be examined in the case,' HC said citing delay in trial

Karnataka: citing slow pace of trial, accused in journalist murder case granted bail

Mohan Nayak N, the 11th accused in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, has been granted bail by the High Court of Karnataka.

The allegation against Nayak was that "he had conspired with the other accused persons to commit the murder of deceased Gauri Lankesh and in furtherance of such conspiracy, he had taken a house for rent at Ramanagara in an isolated place and had given shelter in the said house to accused number 2 & 3 who are the actual assailants in the present case."

He is the first accused in the case to obtain bail, which was granted by the single judge bench of Justice S Vishwajith Shetty.

One of the grounds on which Nayak was granted bail was the delay in the trial.

"In the present case, out of 527 charge sheet witnesses, only 90 witnesses have been examined. This Court on 11.02.2019 directed the Trial Court to expedite the trial. Though charges were framed in the present case on 30.10.2021, for the last more than two years, only 90 witnesses have been examined. There are more than 400 charge sheet witnesses who are yet to be examined in the case.

Even if it is assumed that all the witnesses mentioned in the charge sheet may not be examined in the case, considering the fact that only 90 witnesses have been examined for the last more than two years, it can be safely presumed that any time soon, the trial of the case may not be completed," the HC said in its judgement.

Nayak is in custody since July 18, 2018.

Gauri was murdered outside her residence in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017 by bike-borne men. The police arrested a total of 17 men in connection with the case and claim that Gauri's murder was connected to the murder of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and those of Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar in Maharashtra.


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