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Soujanya case: CBI court grants bail to accused

Bengaluru: In a major development in Sowjanya rape and murder case, the CBI court on Thursday granted bail to accused Satosh Rao who was arrested four years ago. This order comes close on the heels of the High Court stay on re-investigations into the case.

Sowjanya, a II PU student, was found dead in Ujire near Dharmasthala on October 10, 2012. While the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had investigated the case, the charge-sheet was filed by the CBI. It named Santosh Rao, a contract labourer from Kumdapura, as the only accused in the charge sheet.

However, the CBI court observed that there could be more than one person involved in the case and said that there were no eye-witnesses to prove that Santosh Rao was an accused.

The scientific evidence, including the medical test and FSL examination results, did not prove Santosh Rao’s involvement in the crime and as he has already served over four years in jail, the CBI court considered his plea and let him off on bail, advocate Bhaskar Holla, who is contesting Sowjanya’s case told.

What has made the case weak

The two witnesses, who caught Santosh Rao and handed him over to police, are dead. Ravi Pujary died under mysterious circumstances, while Gopalakrishna died of illness.

The medical examination conducted on Santosh Rao suggested that the accused was suffering from Phimosis and no injuries were found on his private parts to suggest his involvement.

The clothes belonging to Santosh Rao, seized by the CBI and subjected to DNA and FSL examination, did not throw any evidence, Mr. Holla said. The DNA samples found from the finger nails of Sowjanya did not match the DNA samples of Satosh Rao.

The Chief Medical Officer of Belthangady Taluk General hospital, who conducted the autopsy on Sowjanya, has also suggested that there could be more than one person involved in the crime. Relying on his and another doctor’s statements, the Special CBI Court summoned three persons not named by the investigation agency in its charge sheet last November: Dhiraj Jain, Uday Jain and Mallik Jain. The trio was summoned based on an application submitted by Chandrappa Gowda, father of Sowjanya, alleging that they were involved in the crim

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