The Supreme Court has expressed its shock and surprise over the Karnataka High Court's order granting ex parte stay on proceedings in a corruption case against then Bengaluru police commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar and then police Inspector MS Ashok and others, arising out of land dealing of a senior citizen.
A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, B R Gavai and Hrishikesh Roy said the order by the single judge of the HC was all the more shocking because the stay on the investigation was granted without hearing the other side.
"We are appalled to notice that, presumably, the single judge of the High Court was not conscious about the principle underlying statutory provision (Section 22) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, which clearly comes in the way of granting interim relief of stay of the criminal trial concerning offences under Prevention of Corruption Act," the bench said.
"More so, such drastic order could not have been passed without hearing the counsel for the State," the bench added.
The top court quashed and set aside the HC's order of February 1, 2018, after hearing advocate Sanjay M Nuli on behalf of 76-year-old complainant V Hanumanthaiah.
The petitioner here claimed he had purchased 7.8 guntas of land at Yelahanka Hobli in Bengaluru north in 2003.
As some goons tried to stop his construction at the site, he approached police Inspector Ashok who allegedly demanded Rs 4 lakh and took Rs 2 lakh for protection.
In 2017, on a complaint made along with the CD of telephonic conversation, a case was ordered to be registered against the police officers. On a plea for quashing the FIR, the HC in 2018 stayed the proceedings.