HC quashes probe order against Brijesh Patel

HC quashes probe order against Brijesh Patel

Hearing a petition by Patel, challenging the order which sought a probe into allegations of misuse of funds and other irregularities by him, Justice Anand Byra Reddy quashed the order, stating that it had been made “without application of mind, at the insistence of Minister for Co-operative Societies.”

Justice Reddy observed, “Quasi-judicial power conferred on an authority under statute is sacrosanct and should be exercised bereft of any interference or influence by the executive government. If not, the letter and spirit of the statutory provision and power conferred on authority loses its efficacy.”

Pointing out that the order was made at the insistence of the Minister, the Court observed,

“The effect of a Minister forwarding a representation or a complaint to adept official, coupled with a direction to act in a particular fashion, cannot be termed as anything other than undue influence, ought to be avoided,”

Fresh steps

Quashing the order, the Court said that the matter is open to the registrar to take fresh steps by ‘active application of mind’.

An inquiry was ordered against Patel following a complaint by some KSCA members to Minister for Co-operative Societies.

The petitioner challenged the order, stating that under Section 25 of Karnataka Societies Registration Act, the minister cannot direct an inquiry, and sought its quashing.

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