The High Court on Monday orally asked the counsel representing former Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao to withdraw his petition as the order passed on the petition could be ‘dangerous’ for his client.
Justice Anand Byrareddy said he will mention details of the charge sheet and the incidents that have taken place inside the Lokayukta office. It would be better for the petitioner to withdraw the petition and face trial. Justice Rao has approached the High Court seeking quashing of the additional charge sheet filed by Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Lokayukta extortion scandal. Justice Rao is accused number 7.
The SIT, in its statement of objection, has sought directions to dismiss the petition. It has stated that the material collected by the investigating agency consists of oral and documentary evidence which unerringly pin-points that Justice Rao has actively connived with his son Ashwin Rao. SIT has said that Ashwin Rao and his cronies abused the official position of the Lokayukta in order to extort money from public servants holding key positions.
The argument that the Governor, while granting sanction for prosecution, has not consulted the council of ministers, cannot be questioned. The Governor can use his discretionary powers to give permission.
The SIT has said that the contention of the petitioner that he was working as the Lokayukta and hence entitled to immunity under provisions of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984 and Judges Protection Act, 1985 is untenable. SIT has stated that while discharging the official duty as the Lokayukta, the purported acts of Justice Rao are not done with bona fide intentions, and there has been active connivance of the petitioner in committing offences.
The SIT has mentioned that at the stage of enacting the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, the legislature has not visualised the possibility of the Lokayukta himself becoming an accused. Though the very Act is enacted for curbing corruption, the petitioner has actively connived with other accused to facilitate corruption through his son and his coterie by using the Lokayukta office and official residence for the purpose of committing the alleged offences.
The petitioner’s advocate sought time to go through he objections filed by the SIT. The bench adjourned the next hearing to Wednesday.