High Court judge recuses himself from hearing BJP leader Ashok’s case

Justice K N Phaneendra on Thursday recused himself from hearing a petition filed by BJP leader R Ashok before the High Court.

Published: 19th January 2018 02:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th January 2018 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Justice K N Phaneendra on Thursday recused himself from hearing a petition filed by BJP leader R Ashok before the High Court. The petition challenged the FIR registered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in relation to the former deputy chief minister’s alleged involvement in a bagair hukum land scam.
The reason is that the judge had given legal opinion in the subject matter when he was the law secretary, before being elevated as Karnataka High Court judge.

Therefore, the case will be placed before the other bench for hearing. Ashok pleaded before the court to quash the complaint dated January 3 and the FIR dated January 8. He said the ACB registered the case to settle political scores and tarnish his image;The ACB registered an FIR against Ashok, who was the then chairman of Bengaluru South Taluk Bagair Hukum Land Regularisation Committee (from 1998 to 2006), besides being the Uttarahalli constituency MLA.

Accusing him of being one of the beneficiaries of the scam, the ACB alleged that the committee sanctioned the land even to those who were not eligible. Ashok contended that other members of the committee were dropped from the FIR as they belong to the Congress. He added that he was singled out. 
Ashok also contended that a complaint dated May 27, 2013, was filed before the Lokayukta on the same issue and was under investigation. Now, a complaint dated November 9, 2017, has been filed before the ACB. There is no provision in the law to continue two parallel investigations, he said.

HC issues contempt notice to UGC
The High Court ordered a notice to Prakash Kumar Thakur, Secretary of University Grants Commission (UGC), over a contempt petition filed by the Karnataka State Open University (KSOU) for not granting it recognition despite the order passed by the court. A division bench of Justice B S Patil and Justice Aravind Kumar ordered the notice. KSOU contended that UGC showed disobedience to the court by not complying with the order passed on December 12, 2017, where it was asked to grant recognition to the varsity. 

Petition against CM’s follower
A petition has been filed before the High Court challenging the appointment of a follower of the chief minister as member of the State Police Complaint Authority (SPCA). Hearing the petition, Justice A S Bopanna ordered a notice to the Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, and Ekambara Naidu, who was appointed as the SPCA’s member, as representative from the 
civil society. The court asked the Home Department to file objections before the next hearing. 

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