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Walikar’s bail plea hearing put off

Karnatak University vice-chancellor H B Walikar and three other officials who were arrested by the Lokayukta police under the Prevention of Corruption Act, will have to stay in the police/judicial custody at least till Thursday.

V-C Walikar and finance officer S Rajashri are being treated for high blood pressure and diabetes at the KIMS hospital in Hubli, while, registrar (evaluation) H T Pote and  V-C’s PA S L Bilgi are lodged in the Dharwad Central Jail.

Special Lokayukta judge H S Ballolli who heard the bail petitions on Tuesday, reserved his orders for Thursday. He will pronounce his decision on the bail plea of the four arrested on Thursday at 12.30 PM.

KU vice-chancellor H B Walikar, registrar (evaluation) H T Pote, finance officer S Rajashri and vice-chancellor’s personal assistant Shivanand Bilgi have filed bail applications which came up for hearing on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday evening, the judge had refused bail to Pote and Bilgi when they were produced before him and had ordered that they be sent to judicial custody. He had also ordered that the duo be produced in the court on Tuesday for hearing their plea.

Advocate for the accused, Prakash Udakeri argued that the Justice Padmaraj Commission of inquiry had not named the officers other than vice-chancellor Walikar as guilty of irregularities in his report to the governor. The registrar (administration) had filed a complaint with the Lokayukta Police on October 3 and the Lokayukta Police had registered the FIR on October 7. He questioned why there was delay in filing the FIR and delay in arresting the named as accused. Udakeri said, the BJP members had made allegations against the vice-chancellor to the governor. “The governor is also from BJP and the action against the vice-chancellor and others is a politically-motivated decision,” he contended.

He said, all allegations against the university authorities were baseless and added that the vice-chancellor and other officers were cooperating with the Lokayukta Police in the investigation and argued that they should be granted bail.

Countering the argument, Public Prosecutor Andanigoudar pointed out that the allegations against the vice-chancellor and other officials were serious in nature and the Lokayukta Police had found sufficient material to prove the charges during the investigation. He said, those who were supposed to be educating the people about good behavior were engaged in corrupt practices and hence did not deserve bail.

Hearing both sides, judge H S Ballolli adjourned the case to Thursday and said he would pronounce the order at 12.30 PM on Thursday.

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