Citing withdrawal of powers, Lokayukta cops refuse 3 plaints

Citing withdrawal of powers, Lokayukta cops refuse 3 plaints

Govt has withdrawn the police station status of Lokayukta police

Citing withdrawal of powers, Lokayukta cops refuse 3 plaints

The State government’s hurried attempt in withdrawing police station status of the Lokayukta police has put the complainants in a fix.

The Lokayukta police on Monday refused to receive complaints filed by three persons in the wake of government withdrawing the police station powers through a notification.

The Lokayukta police couldn't re-direct the aggrieved persons to newly formed Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) since there is no communication about its office, sources said.

Additional Director General of Police K V Gagandeep, who has been posted as the chief of ACB reportedly took charge on Tuesday. Gagandeep, who was Principal Secretary (Home Department), couldn't be reached over his mobile phone. However, the office of the Home Secretary confirmed that Gagandeep handed over charge as principal secretary on Monday evening. Sources said the process to post officials for ACB will start after Inspector General of Police M A Saleem takes charge, probably on Wednesday.

“We couldn't take complaints because the police station status was withdrawn through a notification issued on Saturday. The complainants approached the office on Monday and wanted to file complaints against certain officials who had demanded bribe. We explained them the situation and sent them back. The communication that reached us did not have the details about the office or phone number of newly formed ACB,” a Lokayukta police official said.

On the other hand, the State government has accorded police station status to ACB, restricting it to the office of the ADGP (ACB). Besides, jurisdiction of this status has been extended to the entire State. The notification reads, “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (s) section 2 of the CrPC, the government of Karnataka hereby declares that the office of the ADGP, Anti Corruption Bureau, Bengaluru as Police Station having jurisdiction for the whole of the state of Karnataka as local area included within this police station.''

Explaining the order, an official said: “What this means is that a person with a complaint that some government servant in Bidar is demanding bribe, will have to travel all the way to Bengaluru to file the complaint. The office of the ADGP will have to inform the ACB officials in Bidar to conduct further proceedings as laid down in Prevention of Corruption Act.”

The official also pointed out that the detailed notification issued on setting up of the ACB has retained the controversial provision of prior sanction from the competent authority before starting the investigation on a public servant's official work, recommendation and decisions. After widespread criticism, the State government had issued a clarification that this was not applicable for cases of disproportionate assets and traps, but only pertains to official works of a public servant.