BENGALURU: The Special Lokayukta Court rejected anticipatory bail pleas filed by 61 assistant public prosecutors/assistant government pleaders (APPs/AGPs) working in various courts in the state.Shobha Thamanna Bajantri from Chikkodi in Belagavi and 60 others moved for advance bail apprehending their arrest after the Lokayukta police filed the supplementary chargesheet that they had paid illegal gratification to officials of prosecution department to get themselves enlisted in the rank list of APPs/AGPs in 2014.
While rejecting the anticipatory bail pleas, Special Court Judge Manjula Itty said the chargesheet was filed against them and the court had issued summons to all of them to appear before the court on April 16, 2018. They can appear before this court on the date posted for their appearance and seek regular bail. Accordingly, the petitions were rejected, the judge said.
The petitioners moved the court seeking bail as they were under the apprehension of arrest as their names appeared in the supplementary chargesheet as “accused”, which made it difficult for them to perform their official duties without fear.There was no material on record to show that the petitioners were absconding or that they were proclaimed offenders. As these petitioners were working in various courts across the state, and their names were found in the chargesheet in the accused list, their apprehension was well-founded and reasonable as on the date these applications were filed before this court, the court said.
Recently, the Lokayukta police filed a chargesheet against Chandrashekar G Hiremath, former in-charge director, who was also the Member Secretary of APP/AGP Selection Committee, and Administrator Narayanaswamy and Head Quarters Assistant (in-charge), Department of Prosecutions and Government Litigation and 61 APPs/AGPs. This was based on the complaint filed by advocate H T Ravi from Honnagundi in Threerthahalli taluk of Shivamogga district, under the different provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act as well as IPC. The accused were charged with dishonesty, obtaining illegal means or valuable thing, criminal misconduct, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal breach of trust, forgery, cheating, and criminal conspiracy.