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Arrest warrant against minister Sadananda Gowda's son on actress' complaint

Bangalore: A court Thursday issued an arrest warrant against Karthik Gowda, son of Railway Minister DV Sadananda Gowda, in a rape and cheating case filed against him by a Kannada actress after he got engaged to another woman.

"As Karthik failed to appear before our investigation team despite repeated summons since Aug 29 for questioning on the charges alleged against him by Maithreyi, the eighth additional city metropolitan magistrate issued the warrant to arrest him," Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) T.R. Suresh told IANS here.

Police have formed two teams to look for 30-year-old Karthik in Bangalore and across the state.

Police in Goa and Kerala have also been alerted to look out for him.

A search team has left for Madikeri in Kodagu district, about 230 km from here, as he got engaged there Aug 27 and was later seen in Mangalore.

"Once arrested, we will present him (Karthik) in the court and seek his custody for interrogation. The case is booked against him Aug 27 under Sections 376 (rape) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC (Indian Penal Court) on the basis of complaint filed by Maithreyi," said Suresh.

According to Karthik's counsel, who filed an anticipatory bail application Aug 30, the session court is yet to give ruling on his plea for relief.

"Our petition for anticipatory bail for Karthik is being heard by the session's court. Its magistrate is yet to pronounce the order as arguments were incomplete," counsel told reporters.

The court served a notice to the R.T. Nagar police station, where the complaint was lodged, asking if it had any objection on granting anticipatory bail to Karthik.

"We are opposing the anticipatory bail plea, as Karthik did not respond to our notices and summons to appear before the investigation officer under the law," Inspector S. Raghupathy said.

Maithreyi has claimed that Karthik tied the wedding knot with her June 5 at his other house in Mangalore, about 350 km from Bangalore, and that they consummated the informal marriage after he forced himself upon her.

The probe team has already interrogated Maithreyi Aug 28 to 30 and recorded her statements and collected documents, including relevant certificates, photos and voice recordings.

The Gowdas, however, denied the charge and accused Maithreyi of tarnishing their image and blamed political opponents of conspiring to bring disrepute to the family, as the victim later claimed to have joined the Congress two-three years ago.

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