Corruption in Lokayukta led to formation of ACB: Spl court

Corruption in Lokayukta led to formation of ACB: Spl court

A Lokayukta special court has remarked that corruption and extortion cases within the Lokayukta led to the creation of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and also resulted in ‘virtual closure of Lokayukta institution'.

Special Court judge D T Devendran, in his order rejecting bail to the accused chargesheeted by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), has said that the scam in which Syed Riyaz, former Joint Commissioner (PRO) of Lokayukta and Yerabati Ashwin, son of former Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, were the accused has an “effect” on society.

The bail application was filed by six accused in the first case in the extortion racket. The accused had threatened and demanded money from M N Krishnamurthy, an Executive Engineer at Bengaluru Zilla Panchayat. Apart from the main accused Riyaz and Ashwin, four others - V Bhaskar, Ashok Kumar M B Srinivasa Gowda and Shankare Gowda - had also filed bail applications.

The court, while dismissing the bail applications on April 27 said, “The offences committed by the accused are so serious that it had led to bringing in an amendment to Karnataka Lokayukta Act with high drama leading to resignation of Lokayukta. The post of Lokayukta is still vacant. In the subsequent move, the government has withdrawn police wing from the Lokayukta and formed the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Thus, the offence committed by the accused has led to virtual closure of Lokayukta institution. Our Constitution no doubt provides for public liberty, equally the interest of society has to be taken into consideration.

So, taking into consideration the seriousness of the offences and its effect on the society, I am of the opinion that the accused are not entitled to (be) enlarge(d) on bail.”
The accused had moved the High Court challenging refusal of bail to them and the High Court had granted them bail. The SIT filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against this order. The apex court, while allowing the criminal appeals, had reserved the liberty to the accused to seek bail before the trial court.

So far, three Lokayukta special courts have dismissed the bail applications filed by the accused in four different cases of extortion and corruption chargsheeted by the SIT. A senior official said that in one case, the order on bail applications filed by the accused is posted for orders to May 15.

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