High Court stalls transfer of cases to ACB

High Court stalls transfer of cases to ACB

High Court stalls transfer of cases to ACB

The High Court on Thursday ordered that cases under investigation and pending sanction before the police wing of the Karnataka Lokayukta should not be transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

The order will remain in force till April 12, 2016, the next date of hearing of the PIL seeking stay and quashing of the government notification dated March 14, 2016 creating the ACB.  Partially staying the government notification, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath said any action of the ACB will be subject to the outcome of the PIL. The bench ordered notice to the state government and adjourned the matter.

During the hearing, K B Monesh Kumar, counsel for the petitioner, contended that snatching away the powers of the Lokayukta is against Article 162 of the Constitution, which talks about the executive power of the state subject. He said the Lokayukta was formed through an enactment of the legislation and a mere notification issued by the state government cannot limit and curb the powers of the institution. 

Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna, however, argued that the ACB was created to fight corruption in the state and that the state government had the powers to create ACB. 
When the bench wanted to adjourn the next hearing of the PIL to post court vacation, Advocate General Madhusudan R Naik made a request to hear the matter on April 12 next.

The PIL filed by advocate Chidananda Urs B G states that ACB is not fully operational and at the same time the powers of ADGP Lokayukta have been withdrawn and this has created a ‘stalemate’ and a ‘vacuum’ in the investigating agency. In the criminal justice system there cannot be any stalemate or vacuum due to non-existence of investigating agency, which has never happened in India.

This 'unmindful' and 'reckless' act of the State Government has resulted in stoppage of investigations completely which may also result in possible disappearance of crucial evidence that are to be collected. It has also assisted the corrupt to roam freely, destroy evidence which otherwise were available. “This act of State Government cannot, therefore, be justified even on the grounds of transformation or transitional issues of a new system, wherein powers are intentionally given to the  interested parties.”

 

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