BENGALURU: Statistics placed before the Karnataka High Court revealed that 63 per cent of the total petitions received by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), from March 14, 2016, to December 31, 2019, were closed without registering FIRs as they are anonymous, pseudonymous complaints and also for other reasons. Similarly, the ACB closed 60 per cent of the total petitions forwarded by the Lokayukta without registering FIRs, after the power of registering FIRs under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act was taken away, with the formation of the ACB in March 2016.
According to the affidavit filed before the division bench of Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Suraj Govindaraj on Thursday by IGP, ACB, M Chandra Sekhar, FIRs were registered only in 5.37 per cent of the total 19,109 petitions received. He stated that in all, 421 petitions were forwarded by the Lokayukta to the ACB. Of these, 117 petitions are pending inquiry, and FIRs were registered in case of 16 petitions. Of the total number of petitions, 18% was transferred to other departments for action, and inquiry is under progress in relation to 14% of the petitions. On the other hand, the ACB closed 60% of the total 421 petitions referred by the Lokayukta and inquiry is on into 28% of the petitions.
The IGP also mentioned that the oldest petition was received in Lokayukta on May 17, 2005, and forwarded by the Registrar of Karnataka Lokayukta to ACB on April 12, 2018. This petition was inquired into and closed, he said, but gave no reason. “I am unable to furnish the all relevant details of the closure reports due to the paucity of time”, the IGP said in the affidavit.
However, the division bench, which was hearing a batch of PILs questioning the formation of ACB, granted 10 days’ time to the ACB to enable it to file a detailed affidavit containing the name of the parties, petitioner as well as accused, nature of offence, reasons for closure of petitions forwarded by Lokayukta. The bench also directed the Lokayukta to file an affidavit, explaining similar details about petitions forwarded to ACB.
The statistics were submitted in court in response to directions issued by the bench on December 19, 2019, after counsels of the petitioners made allegations that ACB had closed many complaints without registering FIRs.