Lack of police powers: 24 ACB cases stayed

 As many as 24 cases registered by the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) have been stayed by the Karnataka High Court due to lack of police station powers under section 2(s) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

In most of these cases, it has been contended that the ACB is not even a competent authority to register an offence under Prevention of Corruption Act as it is not a police station.

One of the petitions filed recently challenging the registration of a First Investigation Report (FIR) by the ACB stated that the office of the ACB has not been declared a police station. “In pursuance to the notification creating the ACB, the state government through another notification on April 21, 2016 conferred powers on all police inspectors at the office of the ACB to investigate offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. However, the office of the ACB has not been declared as a police station under Section 2(s) of the CrPC,'' K Satish, an advocate who represented two petitioners before the high court, said.

The petition further stated that the Lokayukta police was authorised to investigate the offences as it was declared as a police station under section 2(s) of the CrPC. The state government had abolished the Lokayukta police in March 2016 and created ACB. Subsequently, the government issued four notifications withdrawing police station status of Lokayukta police.

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