CM not empowered to make public statement in IAS officer death case: Petitioner

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Bengaluru, Mar 26: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is not empowered to disclose or make any public statement on the "unnatural death" of IAS officer D K Ravi as the probe was on and incomplete, the petitioner in the case submitted before the Karnataka High Court on Thursday.

Filing counter-objections to the state government's plea, the petitioner, Sudhir Reddy, husband of an IAS officer who was a batchmate of Ravi, said, "When the investigation itself is not complete, the respondents or the Chief Minister can hardly claim to be aware of the truth and they are not empowered to disclose any information when the intent is to make the same public." [IAS Officer DK Ravi case mystery deepens: Did CID delete CCTV footage?]

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"It is well settled, half truth is equivalent to untruth or falsehood," he submitted before Justice Abdul Nazeer here. The High Court, on March 24, had directed Reddy to file counter-objections to the government’s plea.

[IAS officer's death: Govt notifies CBI]

The government had filed objections to the petition filed by Reddy seeking restrictions of publication of any interim report or making any public statement pertaining to investigation being conducted by the government through CID.

The government is seeking vacation of restraint on publishing or making public the interim report pertaining to the investigation carried out by CID into the death of 35-year-old Ravi who was found hanging inside his apartment here on March 16.

[DK Ravi: What govt could not state in Assembly, it stated in court]

The High Court had, in a special hearing at the residence of Justice Nazeer on March 22, restrained the government from publishing any interim report, ahead of Siddaramaiah making an announcement in the Assembly.

On Monday last, Siddaramaiah announced a CBI probe bowing to mounting public pressure and demand from Ravi's family who suspected foulplay in the death of the IAS officer.

As soon as the proceedings began, Reddy's counsel submitted the counter-objections, and the respondents sought time for studying the same. Justice Abdul Nazeer posted the matter for April six.

[DK Ravi's death was suicide, Govt tells Karnataka High Court]

In his counter objections, Reddy submitted that the respondents including the government and Chief Minister are not empowered to disclose any details of the probe, pending completion of investigation.

"It is patently illegal to do so and in fact, may hamper the cause of a fair investigation and the attempt to determine of truth," he added.

Reddy submitted that revelation of information in the statement of objections has the effect of derailing the process of investigation.

He also said that making any disclosure does not arise when the investigation has been transferred to CBI, and hence all the respondents are functus officio insofar as the matter of investigation with regard to demise of Ravi is concerned.

PTI

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