Mangaluru, Mar 29, 2023: The hearing in the RTI activist Vinayak Baliga murder case was held at the 6th District and Sessions Court on March 28, Tuesday.
S Balakrishnan Senior advocate from Bengaluru who is appointed as Special Public Prosecutor in the case said that there was evidence to prove that the main accused Naresh Shenoy had taken the witnesses in the case to Kashmir, Kanyakumari and other places. "This seems to be an attempt to exert pressure on the witnesses to give statement in his favour. Moreover it has also come to light that the accused has spoken to the witnesses in the court premises. Therefore the mobile phone of Naresh Shenoy and the witnesses must be seized and examined. The CC camera footage must be produced before the court. This will bring to light the facts," he urged.
However the advocate for the accused raised objection and said this was not permissible as per law. But the prosecutor said the Supreme Court has in two–three instances in the past has given permission for the same, and cited some instances.
Balakrishnan said Anuradha Baliga, the sister of the slain activist and social activist Manjula Nayak who was supporting her had received life threat through WhatsApp from the accused on January 17, 2023. Though a complaint was lodged at Barke station, the police have not investigated properly, this complaint must be thorougly probed, he urged.
The judge who heard both the parties gave time for seizing of the mobile phone and presenting CCTV footage and adjourned the hearing to May 10.
This year, the hearing was earlier held on January 3, 4 and 5.
There is widespread allegation that there was political pressure on the police department against thoroughly probing the case. One of the accused Vighnesh Nayak was found hanging in his home. Though this was suspected to be a case of suicide, the cause is not yet clear.