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Why create Anti-Corruption Bureau when Lokayukta is short-staffed, HC asks of go

Bengaluru, Mar 30, 2016, DHNS: 1:17 IST
 The bench observed that corruption has become rampant and needs to be addressed immediately. dh file photo
The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday asked the State government why it has created the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) when there are more than 25 per cent vacancies in the Lokayukta to be filled.

Justice A N Venugopala Gowda questioned the government on how they are planning to strengthen the functioning of the new wing without paralysing the existing Lokayukta. He said that Lokayukta does not have the powers of criminal justice and is already dysfunctional now.

The bench observed that corruption has become rampant and needs to be addressed immediately.

“When Lokayukta is defunct and the ACB is still in the process of being established, where will the common man go now to file complaint about the corruption in the government. By the time the complaint gets registered, the corrupt would have flown out of the country.”

The bench asked the government how ACB was created without asking for any objections from the Opposition and without debating on the subject. He said that the advocate general in the previous hearing had given assurance to fill the vacant posts in the Lokayukta.

The government informed the court that there are 235 staff members in the newly formed ACB and more appointments are underway.

The bench questioned the government on the status of the prosecution of IAS and IPS officers and adjourned the next hearing till March 31, 2016.

In interlocutory application (IA), filed by Janaadhikaara Sangharsha Parishath (JSP), the NGO has sought clarification on the scope of the High Court’s orders on a matter related to strengthening of the Lokayukta police.

JSP’s IA states the government kept the court in the dark about its plan to shut down the Lokayukta police.

More IPS officers appointed to ACB
The State government on Tuesday posted two more IPS officers to the newly created Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
While Bengaluru’s Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Labhu Ram has been posted as Superintendent of Police, ACB, Bengaluru City division, Raman Gupta, who was SP Hassan, has been posted as SP Administration (Headquarters) ACB, according to a press release.
Meanwhile, senior IPS officer M A Saleem on Tuesday took charge as Inspector-General of Police, ACB. While there are reports that the head of the ACB, Additional Director-General of Police K V Gagandeep has proceeded on leave, sources in the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms said they have no information about it.
It is said that Gagandeep has gone on leave as the government was contemplating to post Director General of Police-rank official Neelamani N Raju as the chief of the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Neelamani, who was on Central deputation for over two decades, has returned to the State service recently. Meanwhile, the government on Tuesday posted Ajay Hilori as Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) Benglauru; Isha Pant as SP and Principal, Police Training College, Kalaburagi and Rahul Kumar Shapurwad as SP, Hassan.

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