Karnataka: Murugha Mutt seer Shivamurthy Sharana, accused in POCSO case, released on bail

Shivamurthy not allowed to enter Chitradurga until completion of investigation

Shivamurthy Sharana Shivamurthy Sharana

Shivamurthy Sharana, the pontiff of the Chitradurga Murugharajendra Bruhan Math who has been in custody since September last year facing charges under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, was released from the jail here on Thursday. The High Court of Karnataka granted him bail on November 8.

The Second Additional District and Sessions Court in this district headquarters town on Wednesday issued an order directing the district prison authorities to release the Seer, after examining the conditions imposed by the HC and verifying the documents. But, as the copy of the order did not reach the officials concerned in time, the seer could not be set free on Wednesday, officials said.

“He will be shifted out of Chitradurga, as per the bail conditions,’ they said. According to reports, he is likely to stay at the Math's Davangere branch.

The High Court has imposed several conditions for the bail in one of the two POCSO cases against the pontiff. Shivamurhty will not be allowed to enter Chitradurga district till the completion of the investigation in the cases.

He has been granted bail on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh and two sureties for similar amounts, and warned not to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses. The High Court has also said that the seer should not misuse the bail and if he breaches any of the conditions, it would automatically stand cancelled.

The High Court on October 13 granted bail to accused number three Paramashivaiah, in the first POCSO case against the pontiff and others.

The complaint against the pontiff and four others was filed by Mysuru-based NGO, 'Odanadi Seva Samsthe', alleging sexual harassment of minor students studying in the Math's school and those staying in its hostel. The Nazarabad police in Mysuru had registered a case under POCSO and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The case was transferred to the Chitradurga Rural police station subsequently.

The accused were arrested and have been in judicial custody since then. A second case was registered after two more students filed a complaint.


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