HC stays police proceedings in Govindraj diary case

HC stays police proceedings in Govindraj diary case

HC stays police proceedings in Govindraj diary case

The High Court of Karnataka stayed further police proceedings with regard to enquiry into the Congress MLC K Govindaraj’s diary, which reportedly has details of payments made to Congress leaders. 

Justice Aravind Kumar stayed the proceedings on an FIR registered by the Indiranagar police based on a complaint by the MLC that some persons had planted a diary at his house and leaked its contents. He had also claimed that no diary was seized from his house during the search conducted by the I-T department on March 15, 2016.

Hearing a petition filed by the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation) and others, the judge ordered notices to Govindaraj, Deputy Commissioner of Police (East division), Bengaluru and Station House Officer of Indiranagar police station.   

The I-T department has challenged the notices issued to it by the Bengaluru police asking it to hand over the diary that was seized by the I-T department sleuths from Govindaraj’s house. The I-T department has contended that the diary was seized from Govindaraj’s bedroom during a search operation in the presence of his wife and other members of the family after following due procedure.

The I-T department has contended that the police have no jurisdiction to secure the seized diary or to act upon the complaint of the MLC as the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 prohibits suits in civil courts. Section 293 of the Act states that “no suit shall be brought in any civil court to set aside or modify any proceeding taken or order made under this Act; and no prosecution, suit or other proceeding shall lie against the government or any officer of the government for anything done in good faith or intended to be done under this Act.”

The I-T department in its petition has said that it had given a scanned copy of the contents of the diary to Govindaraj while recording his statement and it has not leaked any information so far.

The police, acting upon the complaint, appears to be under ‘political pressure’ which is hampering the investigation by the I-T department with regard to the seized diary, it said. The department has sought directions to quash the complaint filed by the MLC.