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Former Karnataka minister arrested on rape charges

May 10, 2010 10:20 IST

Former Karnataka food and civil supplies minister H Halappa was on Saturday arrested in connection with a rape case filed against him by his friend's wife.

Halappa, who appeared before the Criminal Investigation Department on Saturday following a notice served by the investigating agency on May 6, was questioned for three to four hours, said Deputy Inspector General of CID Charan Reddy.

"We have formally arrested him after interrogating him. Halappa has denied the allegations," he said.

Halappa has denied all the charges, calling it a political ploy by his adversaries. "This is nothing but a political conspiracy to defame me and the government," he said.

Following his arrest, Halappa complained of uneasiness and was admitted to the government hospital on the directions of Sessions Court Judge Srinivasa Gowda, police said. The police on May 6 had pasted a notice at Halappa's residence, asking him to appear before it by May 10.

He had quit his post as minister after a media report claimed he had sexually assaulted his friend's wife at their residence in November last year at Shimoga, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's home district. Halappa had moved the court in Shimoga, seeking anticipatory bail. His plea will be heard on Tuesday.

Chandravathi, wife of financier Venkatesh Murthy, had filed an FIR claiming Halappa had raped her and later threatened the couple with dire consequences if they spoke about it. The police have booked charges of criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and restraint against Halappa and two of his aides.

The opposition had raised a hue and cry over the issue and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

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