Question mark over probe, as SIT has no custodial powers and can only submit report
The newly formed SIT to probe the ‘sex CD’ case involving ex-minister Ramesh Jarkiholi opened its account on Friday by asking several Kannada TV reporters to appear before the investigators. According to sources, 2 reporters were quizzed by the SIT while 3 other reporters who had been summoned did not show up. The thrust of the SIT is reportedly to zero in on the source or sources of the video clip released to the media, which triggered much political heat and din and forced Jarkiholi to quit the cabinet post of Water Resources Minister.
Earlier, following the directive of Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Bengaluru city police commissioner Kamal Pant formed a 7-member SIT headed by Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Soumendu Mukherjee (West).
The SIT includes CCB Joint Commissioner Sandeep Patil, CCB DCP Ravikumar, DCP (Central) Anuchet and ACP Dharmendra, besides a CCB Inspector and a Cubbon Park police station Inspector. Mukherjee has reportedly been given a free hand to include any other officer in his team. However, the probe team seems to be toothless as Pant’s March 11 order on the setting up of the SIT does not specify any powers to register any kind of FIR or arrest any individual.
These developments come even as social activist Dinesh Kallahalli withdrew his police complaint against Jarkiholi in the wake of former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s allegation that Rs 5 crore had changed hands in the release of the ‘sex CD’.
On March 10, Ramesh Jarkiholi had written to the Home Minister demanding an enquiry into the case, calling it a conspiracy to malign his public image.