The Supreme Court recently sought a response from the Karnataka government on a plea that challenged the Karnataka High Court for granting bail to former Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj, and former Corporator, Abdul Raqueeb Zakir, in the 2020 Bangalore riots. A Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy ordered Raj and Zakir to reply within three weeks. Both the accused are said to have incited a mob to set ablaze the petitioner’s and his sisters’ houses. The mob also burnt down 2 police stations.
The plea filed by Congress MLA of Pulikeshinagar Constituency, R Akhanda Srinivasmurthy through advocate Amit Pai stated that the accused orchestrated large-scale communal violence causing a lot of destruction. Senior advocates Devadatt Kamat, R Basant and advocate Rajesh Inamdar, who represents Srinivasmurthy said that the accused Mr. Zakir can easily manipulate the case due to his political ties. The petition also stated that Raj had unsuccessfully contested the 2018 Assembly elections from the constituency of the C V Raman Nagar Assembly, and he wanted to compete in the next elections from the Pulikeshinagar Assembly constituency. Mr. Srinivasmurthy also alleged that Mr. Raj harbored ill-will against him due to political reasons and created the riots on the pretext of an alleged derogatory post by his nephew.