No police station powers to Lokayukta police yet

No police station powers  to Lokayukta police yet
The Karnataka government is dragging its feet on according police station powers to the Lokayukta police. After the Lokayukta ADGP Dr Parashiva Murthy’s letter to the Home Department seeking restoration of the power in the wake of the High Court order to resume investigation on pending cases, sources said the Additional Advocate General too has recommended the same.

On April 26, 2016, the Division Bench of the High Court, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) against the notification withdrawing police station powers of Lokayukta police, had ordered for resumption of the Lokayukta police investigation in pending cases.

There were 747 cases pending with the Lokayukta police when the state government, through notifications on March 19, 2016, withdrew the police station powers and also ordered transfer of cases to the newly formed Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna has reportedly written a letter to the government recommending restoration of both the police station and investigation powers in the wake of the High Court order. “When there was no reply from the Home Department on the letter by the Lokayukta ADGP, a memo was issued to the police officials in the Lokayukta to resume the preliminary enquiry of complaints filed with the Lokayukta police. It’s been a week since the AAG wrote to the government for according of the police station powers under the CrPC and the authority to investigate under Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The state government has neither refused nor conceded to accord these powers,”' an official said.

On the other hand, the government has also not made any efforts to clear the Prosecution Sanction Order (PSO)  pending before the various competent authorities in different departments. Of the 747 cases pending, 120 cases are stuck waiting for PSOs.

A senior police official said that even if this is cleared, charge sheet cannot be filed without the police station powers conferred under the CrPC and the PC Act.
 
538 cases under probe

The Lokayukta police have 538 cases under investigation. In Bengaluru city division alone, there are 142 cases. Some important cases pending for a few months now include irregularities in the appointment of assistant public prosecutors, disproportionate assets cases against IAS officer Kapil Mohan, former minister G Janaradhana Reddy and two cases of misuse of office and irregularities against Congress MLA Muniratna. Besides, preliminary enquiries on the complaints against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao and Law Commission Chairperson Justice S R Nayak are also pending.

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