Govt in fix over HC order to restore powers of Lokayukta police

Govt in fix over HC order to restore powers of Lokayukta police

Not doing so may lead to contempt of court; ADGP writes to govt

Govt in fix over HC order to restore powers of Lokayukta police

The state government is in a fix in the wake of the High Court's direction to Lokayukta police to resume investigation of cases. While a total of 747 cases are pending investigation with the Lokayukta police in the entire state, the resumption of investigation has not been done even after High Court order on April 26.

Reason: The government is hesitant to restore the police station powers of the Lokayukta police which was withdrawn while setting up the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

The High Court direction to resume investigation resulted in the first-ever correspondence to the government from the Lokayukta ever since its powers were withdrawn. Lokayukta ADGP Dr Parashivamurthy wrote to the home secretary, requesting to withdraw two notifications which curtailed the powers of the Lokayukta police.

Sources said the letter had raised questions as not withdrawing notifications might result in a contempt of court.

“Ever since the ACB was created, Lokayukta, the so-called autonomous institution, had not written to the government on the hasty decision. Armed with the court direction, the ADGP had to write to the government seeking withdrawal of the notification. Even the Lokayukta police are in a fix since not resuming investigation may lead to contempt of court as well. With the ADGP writing to the government, the latter will have to clarify if the police station status will be restored,” a senior police official said.

Out of the 747 cases pending with the Lokayukta police, 538 are under investigation, while 120 cases are stuck waiting for Prosecution Sanction Order from various departments. Among the cases under investigation, 142 are with the Bengaluru City division and 73 are pending with the Davangere Lokayukta police.

As many as 34 cases have been stayed by both the High Court and Supreme Court.
A senior Lokayukta official said that there was no direction to the Lokayukta police in the state to resume investigation till Thursday evening.

Former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde said that the government will have to invariably withdraw the notifications in the wake of the High Court direction.

“The division bench of the High Court has empowered the Lokayukta police to resume investigation. Unless the notifications taking away the police station powers are withdrawn, the police cannot resume investigation. The governments shall function as per the aid and advice of the High Court. If police station status is not restored, it will certainly amount to contempt of court. Moreover, the division bench order is only pertaining to cases pending with the Lokayukta police,” Justice Hegde said. ‘Lokayukta will probe pending cases’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday said as the Karnataka High Court had asked the Lokayukta to deal with the pending cases, the institution (Lokayukta) would investigate the pending cases.

When reporters asked about the cases filed against him (Siddaramaiah) and former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Siddaramaiah said the ACB would investigate the cases as per law.

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