News Karnataka
Saturday, December 03 2022

Karnataka: SC stays adverse remarks by HC Judge against ACB

Photo Credit : IANS

Bengaluru: The Supreme Court on Monday July 18 stayed all proceedings and adverse remarks, calling for B summary reports and service records against the Karnataka ACB by a High Court judge.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana said the judge while hearing a bail plea of an accused made unnecessary observations. The bench, also comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, asked the High Court to decide the bail matter, wherein the judge alleged threat of transfer due to his stinging remarks against the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Karnataka ACB.

The top court said the observations made and directions passed in the petition, calling for B summary report, are irrelevant and detrimental to the accused. The bench added that the proceedings before the High Court not linked with the proceedings with the accused are stayed. “We request the High Court to consider the bail application of the accused,” it said.

The top court said allegations in connection with the threat of transfer were a different issue and it does not want to give an impression that the court is favouring one side.

The top court heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and S. Nagamuthu, for the Karnataka government, ACB Chief Seemant Kumar Singh and an IAS Officer J. Manjunath respectively.

The top court came on a plea by ACB, Karnataka government, and IAS Officer J. Manjunath against adverse observations made by a single judge of the High court.

On July 12, the Supreme Court asked the Karnataka High Court to defer hearing for three days in a bail matter, where it had made caustic remarks against Singh, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) of the State’s ACB. The high court judge had claimed receiving a transfer threat in connection with his comments against the functioning of the ACB.

The case was in connection with a criminal petition filed by an accused, who was arrested by the ACB for accepting bribes, allegedly on behalf of deputy commissioner (Bengaluru Urban). “Your ADGP is apparently powerful. Someone had spoken to a high court judge who mentioned to me an instance of another judge being transferred. I will not hesitate to name the judge who gave this information. There is a threat of transfers to this court. I will protect the independence of the judiciary at the cost of my judgeship,” Justice H. P. Sandesh had said.

The High Court also summoned ACB’s special counsel to bring on record data, including B reports and charge sheets filed by the agency since its inception.

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