HC allows Seer to sign cheques from prison

Source: PTI | Published on 1st October 2022, 12:47 PM | State News |

Bengaluru,:  The High Court of Karnataka on Friday allowed chief pontiff of Murugha Math Shivamurthy Murugha Sharanaru, facing a case of sexual assault on minor girls, to sign cheques from jail.

The Seer has been in custody since September 1 in a POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) case.

The cheques were for payment of monthly salaries for the employees of the math and educational institutions run by it.

Justice M Nagaprasanna allowed the plea filed by the Seer and ordered that cheques be allowed to be signed on October 3, 6 and 10.

The permission of the deputy commissioner has to be obtained by the person who would carry the cheques. The signing of the cheques would be done in the presence of the investigating officer in the case and the jail authorities.

Photocopies of the cheques thus signed would be submitted to the trial court hearing the case, the High Court said.

The High Court made it clear that the signing of the cheques is being allowed only for the month of October.

The Seer has to make an application to the trial court seeking permission to transfer the cheque signing authority through a general power of attorney to another person. The trial court would consider this request and issue orders.

In his plea, the Seer claimed he was the only trustee of the math’s trust and salaries have to be paid to over 3,000 employees of the over 150 institutions under it.

The High Court had said there was lack of clarity in the request of the Seer to sign around 200 cheques from the prison, as all the cheques had the payable details mentioned as ‘Self RTGS” (real time gross settlement).

State public prosecutor 1 Kiran Javali has told the court that prima facie the submissions made by the accused did not seem bona fide. He requested the court to transfer the plea to the Sessions Court in Chitradurga for disposal on merit.

The High Court had said it was improper to request for self-addressed cheques to be signed by the accused in prison.

Earlier, a similar request was made by the Seer before the Second Additional Sessions Judge BK Komala in Chitradurga where the POCSO case is pending. The judge rejected the request. So, the seer approached the High Court with the same plea.

The chief pontiff has also been charged under the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act.

Read These Next