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Karnataka High Court grants bail to Mohan Nayak, first accused to get bail in Gauri Lankesh murder case

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The Karnataka High Court has granted bail to Mohan Nayak, an accused in the murder case of activist-journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was shot dead in 2017.

The single-judge Bench of Justice S Viashwajith Shetty recorded in the order that none of the 23 witnesses, who spoke about the role of Nayak, said he was part of the meeting where the accused persons allegedly conspired to murder Lankesh.

Nayak has become the first person to get bail in relation to the case.

The High Court noted that most of those witnesses have only spoken about Nayak taking a house on rent at Kumbalagodu in the outskirts of Bengaluru.

The prosecution contended that Nayak had taken the house on rent to give shelter to actual assailants in the case.

However, the High Court pointed out discrepancy in the confession statements recorded in the case and noted that the same was done prior to sanction being granted for invoking the provisions of the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (COCA).

It further said that Section 19 of the COCA may not be applicable to the confessions.

(Case title: Mohan Nayak N vs State of Karnataka)

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